We thought of a library as a luxuriant garden suspended among the clouds; a spiral stairway conducting from deep roots underground along an edifying ascent through intermediate levels of knowledge. The words of Philo of Byzantium, echoing from a legendary past, evoked the vision of wonderful hanging gardens constructed by Nebuchadnezzar II to please his beloved homesick wife, Amytis of Media, who longed for the plants of her homeland. In spite of the ancient incipit, the building is technologically advanced and totally self-sustainable: a light shell supported on a truss-worked involucre, founded on top of hundred meters deep geothermal probes, covered with a semitransparent photovoltaic calotte. But more than everything else it is a place of social play.
competition: international, 2012
bid: Municipality of Helsinki
land area: 250,000 sqm
floor area: 2,000,000 sqm
design: AUS Pasini Ranieri, Roberto Pasini, Andrea Ranieri, Martina D’Alessandro / consultants: Andrea Montuschi, Energia associates / collaborators: Federico Corrado, Leonello Mercati