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Kaisa-talo - Helda - Helsinki.fi

11 Kaisa-talo | Kajsahuset | Kaisa House

A library of the future

The completion of the Kaisa

House marks a special day in

the history of the University.

The building will house the Helsinki

University Main Library. In addition to

the Kaisa House, the City Centre Campus

Library operates in the Minerva learning

centre in the district of Kruununhaka. The

library is always the heart of a university,

and the heart of the University of Helsinki

now pulsates with renewed vigour to the

rhythm of the future.

Architecturally, the new library

building is unique. Claims that Helsinki

lacks the courage to go for the “wow

factor” in its architectural projects do not

apply to the University of Helsinki. The

Kaisa House fundamentally renews the

streetscapes of both Kaisaniemenkatu

and Fabianinkatu streets. In fact, the

University of Helsinki has, through many

of its building projects, transformed the

Helsinki cityscape, both in the city centre

and on the campuses. The Kaisa House is

an addition to an impressive selection of

University buildings

The library in the Kaisa House is

also a fine symbol marking the final

culmination of the extensive development

of the University of Helsinki library

system which now unites the numerous

faculty and departmental libraries

into a single unit, the Helsinki University

Library. The incoherence and consequent

loss of resources in the University’s

library system was the focus of attention

also in external evaluations; efforts were

thus made to rationalise the library system

so that its resources would be put

to good use. With the completion of the

Kaisa House, the physical merger of the

operations of the Helsinki University Library

is now completed on the City Centre

Campus as well. The central services

of the Helsinki University Library, established

in 2010, are now for the first time

under one roof in the Main Library, at

the disposal of library users and the entire

library system.

The new Strategic Plan for the

University of Helsinki highlights the

development of the teaching infrastructure

as one of the key factors in

bringing the University closer to the 50

leading universities in the world in terms

of teaching. The library in the Kaisa House

will play a key role in these endeavours.

It will function as a modern learning

centre drawing from state-of-the-art

pedagogical expertise and educational

technology. The Kaisa House will

contribute to the creation of new forms

of learning and teaching.

The building’s form and function

both represent ultra modern design for

learning. The inauguration of the Kaisa

House is, in fact, an important part of the

impressive project portfolio of Helsinki’s

year as World Design Capital 2012. Even

if the Kaisa House was designed for

the academic community to serve as a

modern learning and research centre,

it will also offer a meeting place for all

citizens alike.

An outstanding project has been

completed. I am pleased that it is documented

in this outstanding publication.

Thomas Wilhelmsson

Rector of the University of Helsinki

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