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JKMM Renovates a 1980s Public Library in Finland with a Copper-Clad Expansion


JKMM Architects’ Kirkkonummi Library in Finland transforms an old structure with a copper clad front into a new community centre for the 40,000-person town. Kirkkonummi, which is about 20 miles west of Helsinki, is known for its mediaeval stone church. The library, sometimes referred to as Fyyri, reuses the building’s 1980s-era design. The JKMM team noted that because the church, library, and neighbouring open market serve as the community’s hubs, they were tasked with creating a structure that would fulfil modern requirements.

The plan quadrupled the library’s previous size and featured a 50-meter-long covered terrace with views of the graveyard to highlight the spatial relationship between the buildings the neighbourhood is surrounded by. A ground-floor cafe, a sizable reading room for studying magazines, and a variety of multifunctional rooms, including play areas for young children and performance spaces, were all incorporated into the JKMM extension.

The church’s copper roof has weathered to a turquoise tint, making the pre-patinated copper shingles stand out. The layering and light reflection of the shingles give the impression of fish scales. The lantern-like apertures pierce the copper coating. The interiors of the structure were made of concrete, and a concrete foundation extends from it to provide a tangible continuity.

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