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General Information

a name and address
1 Type of library university [The Sibelius Academy is the only Music University in Finland and one of the biggest in Europe.]
2 Name of library / Name of mother institution Sibelius Academy Library -University of the Arts / Sibelius Academy - University of the Arts
3 Address Töölönlahdenkatu 16 C, 00100 Helsinki Finland
4 Phone / Fax / Email +35840 710 4224
5 Name of the director of the library Mrs. Irmeli Koskimies
6 Contact person for enquiries Mrs. Irmeli Koskimies
b population served
7 Current readership, number of registered readers 2820 [Active customers, used the library in the near past.]
8 Number of full time students 735
9 Number of part time students 658
10 Number of staff in institution 332 [332 lectures, professors, 120 administrators]
c the old/original building(s)
11 Total floor area 680 sq. metres [Situated in two floors]
12 Number of reader seats 31
13 Total capacity of shelving 720 linear metres [Including sheet music, books and periodicals. Plus 12 large boxes for cd-recordings.]
14 …in open access storage 720 linear metres [See above.]
15 …in closed access stacks 130 linear metres [Mostly sheet music, donations, LP-recordings, books and periodicals.]
16 Number of library staff 11
17 Opening hours to the public Loaning Mon-Fri 10 -18, Reading room Mon - Fri 10 - 20, Sat 12-16

The New Building

a architect(s)
18 Firm LPR-arkkitehdit Oy
19 Project Architect Marko Kivistö
20 Type of project
b aims of the new building
21 Short description of the main objectives and purposes of the project The Music Centre is a part of the Töölönlahti (Töölö Bay) area in Helsinki in front of the Finnish Parliament building. The Music Centre, Kiasma and the future City Library offer the possibility for the forming of an active and urban cultural centre, where different forms of art complement each other and where it is easy for consumers of culture to try new things and expand their horizons.

The Music Centre offers concert and rehearsal facilities for the Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra and Sibelius Academy. The music university, two orchestras and the central location offer magnificent possibilities for the meeting and interaction of music listeners, musicians, students of music and the city residents.

The objective of the creators of the Music Centre was to defragment and harmonise the landscape of the Töölönlahti area in Helsinki. The Music Centre is linked to its environment with the two sides of its main body aligned with Finlandia Hall and the Parliament building and the height of the building being in level with the canopy of trees in the Karamzin Park. The green deck of the lower part of the Music Centre descends to the south, continuing as an ascending grass field to the front of Kiasma.

The client wanted the plan to support openness. The foyer opens up via the glass walls toward the park, the venue plaza and the city centre, and connects with the new architecture of the neighbouring buildings. The foyer is open to the public.

The core of the Music Centre, the 1704-seat vineyard-formed concert hall is entered through the surrounding foyer, to which the hall is visually connected through soundproof glass-walls.
c special features
22 Site The Music Library is situated inside the Music Centre near the Finnish Parliament House and near Kiasma, the Museum of Modern Art.
23 Architecture The Centre holds also five smaller music halls for 140 to 400 people. The acoustic features are designed to suit the special purpose of each hall - organ music, chamber music, vocal music and electronically amplified music or musical theatre.

The rehearsal and office spaces of the Sibelius Academy are grouped on seven floors around the courtyard opening toward the Karamzin Park. The two bottom floors house the studios and a music library.

The main material inside the hall, the foyer and the lobby is dark stained and lacquered solid wood animated by the surface texture designed to support the acoustics. The interior cladding elements of the five smaller halls are CNC-cut to individual shapes. The interiors are complemented by materials such as the stainless and powder coated steel and aluminium, backlit translucent plastic fixed furniture, epoxy floors and glass fibre mesh lining as well as strong emphasis colours in specific places and the refreshing design of the furniture. The point-fixed glass facades of the foyer are suspended lightly using latest technical expertise.

The requirement for successful acoustics has governed all levels of design. The concert and rehearsal halls are separated from the rest of the building by expansion joints and the halls rest on anti-vibration spring dampers. The wall cladding hides a great deal of acoustic-related design and work.

The framework is mainly reinforced concrete cast-in-place, complemented by steel structures. The point-fixed glass facade of the foyer with its glass roof sections is suspended from the top and backed up with glass supports and steel tension rods.

Regarding the outdoor lighting, the Music Centre manifests itself aesthetically in the cityscape in a subtle and modest way. The lighting in the halls supports the musical experience and can be transformed for various moods.

Technical Information

24 Total gross floor area 1056 sq. metres
divided into
25 Open access services 835 sq. metres
special rooms for (26-29)
26 Audiovisual 37 sq. metres [3rooms: CD/DVD/BluRay, 5.0 surround, Video projector, Keyboard, Phono, MiniDisc, LaserDisc, VHS, cassette]
27 Computers
28 Special collections 150 sq. metres [music manuscript, rare materials and reference rooms]
29 Seminar room(s)
special activities (30-32)
30 Exhibition space
31 Lecture hall
32 Public refreshments
33 Administration and staff areas 215 sq. metres [including digital conversion and scanning facilities for valuable material]
34 Closed access stacks 40 sq. metres
35 Circulations areas (corridors, stairs, lifts), toilets, technical rooms, etc. 1 lift, 2 toilets, staircase
36 Further information 2 levels of which 2 are public. 2 research rooms (total 13 m2). 6 catalog search workstations, 1 microcard reader.
37 Number of reader seats (total) 62
divided into
38 Audiovisual 16 [10 are also computer places) + 10 in AV rooms. Additional services: VHS-DVD-conversion, DAT, tape cartridge & 78 rpm phono]
39 Computers 14 [10 are also AV places, see above), with printing and 2 scanners]
40 Seminar room(s)
41 Regular 32
b total potential capacity of shelving
42 Books and periodicals (total) 2049 linear metres
43 Open access stacks 1623 linear metres
44 Closed access stacks 46 linear metres
45 Compact shelving 700 linear metres [both open and closed stacks]
46 Audiovisual materials 50000 volumes [ca 50 000 items (CDs, DVDs, BluRays, LPs)]
47 Other
48 Number of staff required to operate the new library 12
c mechanical features
49 Ventilation/Air Conditioning Heat recovery ventilation
50 Heating District heating
51 Lighting Intelligent lighting
52 Acoustics Acoustic design: Nagata Acoustics / Akukon Oy (AV rooms soundproofed with floating floor)
53 Lifts, elevators, escalators 1 lift by KONE Oyj
54 Book transportation system N/A
55 Theft detection 3M theft detection system
56 Building management system Computerized system for air conditioning, temperature control, lighting, fire and other emergency management
57 Type of IT infrastructure Sibelius Academy high-speed LAN (GB range) and WLAN, also Music Centre open access WLAN
58 Other Self-service borrowing and returning systems

Schedule Of The Building Process

59 Planning, preliminary brief 1994-2000
60 Architectural competition Open two-phase international competition 1999-2000
61 Period of project
62 Opening of the construction work 2006
63 Conclusion of the construction 2011
64 Furnishing and moving the collections
65 Opening of the new building for public 31.8.2011

Costs (Including Taxes)

66 Site
67 Building 160000000 euro [Music Centre total]
68 Furniture and equipment 20000000 euro
69 Fees
70 Total
71 Operating costs
72 Funding (Type of commission and source of funding) Public, The City of Helsinki, The Government of Finland

Publications & Awards

Plans & Photos