Architects: Gergely Paulinyi DLA, Gergő Burián, Xavér Heltai, Zsolt Nyírő

Project team: Dr. András Reith, Zsófia Bélafi, Adrienn Gelesz, Orsolya Vass

Ceo: Tamás Tákos, László Fábián

Visual designer: Zsombor Lukács


Helsinki Central Library

Knowledge acquisition is a fundamental question in the Time-Human-Space context, since we are part of a process, a timeless chain, in which the knowledge is the cohesive power. In the age of globalization, mobilization and electronics, it seems that any information will be possible to access anywhere – in principles. But what does the future bring – in practice? What does the library mean in the present context? What is the difference between locally regardless knowledge and the only locally available knowledge? What extras can the future library offer?

The KNOWLEDGE in the time-human-space context

  1. The human being lives in the infinite structures of the past, the present and the future. The time flows from the past towards the future, through the point/moment of the present. In the present to be, the people carry the past and the future with themselves. The past transforms to be the future within the present and in the human itself. Our present knowledge, therefore, a possibility of transformation, transformation of the knowledge into actions that will shape our future. The more we know about the past, as follows about the present, the more successfully we are able to form our future.
  2. Archimedes’ realization: „Give me a lever long enough and a place to stand and I can move the Earth.” He pointed out that, everything is in constant motion and change, no fixed point. He could not have thought that there will be some attempts to turn the Earth 'inside-out' without sufficient knowledge (unlimited economic growth, world-saving ideas, etc.).
  3. Nowadays we have to rethink some basic matters. The way of life and its urban frame needs renewal. The renewal of urban way of life can be placed in the same global paradigm as that of the issue of manmade global warming, questions of environmental and nature protection, world heritage, concepts of ECOcity, the effect of the consumer society on local economy and market, the need for direct community participation in community issues, etc. The commonality among these is the recognition that in our times, our economic, social and cultural demands exceed both nature’s and the built environment’s (that is, global heritage’s) resources. It exceeds it by consuming without replacing. Conclusion: the World is not to be 'move' (Archimedes), but to recognise.
  4. Realization of the present Age: the sustainable development. The definition of this term is quite well known and often cited: "Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs". For all these terms a knowledge, the infinite knowledge is required.
  5. The knowledge is timeless, because it is always in need. The knowledge is always current, because it is in need in every moment. The timeless is always current.


The place in the time-human-space context

  1. Despite the fact that the world is in constant motion and change, though, we need security. The security that is provided by the knowledge.
  2. Therefore, there is a need for a safe place! This place is where the knowledge is available, where the knowledge is being shared.
  3. What could Archimedes say today? „Give me a convenient place to realize the World”. Well, this place is the place of knowledge: the Library.

Let’s ask the question again. Why we use the phrase: 'Timeless is always current' = library? What are the extras it can give?

  • The unique experience of the knowledge-acquisition, through a medium, that is an environment filled with the accumulated knowledge of mankind.
  • The experience of “a sound mind in a sound body”. In order to achieve the unique experience (mentioned above) it’s not enough to provide a perfect access to the best quality knowledge, but it’s human quality must be met. The knowledge can be received in an adequate quality, if the people achieve a not only on intellectual but spiritual and physical superior level. The knowledge take-in is to be a full experience: bodily-physical and mental-spiritual training.
  • The experience of the collectively formed knowledge inside the building: together everybody achieves more (TEAM) than alone. The knowledge-acquisition and knowledge-share is to become a unique experience, pleasure, fun.
  • The experience of public life by sharing knowledge outside the building, on the place of meetings and talks. On the market of thoughts: Agora. This place is the Makasiini Park. This urban square is the scene of direct or participatory democracy. On the other side of the square there stands the building of Parliament, the official institution of democracy, the scene of arguments and legislation.

The wider PLACE becomes a whole with the Library: the institution of participatory and representational democracy, the scenes of public life and arts, the building of Library with the infinite space of knowledge.

Helsinki Central Library