The new building of the Helsinki University Main Library Kaisa-talo is located in the historic area of the city. The curved brick façade is integrated with the surroundings by its height, materials used and design. A large area of arched glazing meets the highest requirements of modern “green” architecture and energy efficiency with sun and noise protection providing users with a real gateway to the new information age.
The technical properties of the glass specified for the project such as thermal insulation, noise control and solar control were defined at the draft stage of the project and closely followed through. The project’s visual properties such as light transmission and reflection, were also carefully planned as was the appreciation of the critical need for noise control in such a calm and peaceful study environment.
The brick façade with evenly spaced small square windows blends perfectly with neighbouring buildings. The array of windows is broken by a large area of curved glazing that is several floors high.
A properly selected acoustic laminated glass, Pilkington Optiphon™ OW, provides excellent noise reduction and a peaceful environment that allows readers to work and study in comfortable conditions.
The concept of the façade is reflected in the interior architecture of the building, which is based on arches.
The large amount of high-performance solar control glass Pilkington Suncool Optilam™ 70/35 OW and Pilkington Suncool™ 66/33 OW provides maximum transparency from the outside making this monumental structure look less dominant than one might expect from a building on this scale.
Kaisa-Talo was chosen as the glass construction of the year 2012 in Finland. The principal designer and architect of the project was Anttinen Oiva Arkkitehdit OY(AOA).
Photography: © Mika Huisman