Rauma Main Library, Rauma, Finland


Location: Rauma, Finland

Year: 2003

Size: 4,600 m2



The Main Library of Rauma has a significant role to play in the townscape. It acts as a unifying element in the field of space formed by buildings of different age and a park. The low-built library, with its timber facades, makes a reference to the delineation of urban spaces in Old Rauma, the town´s historic centre, and the element of surprise contained therein.


The transparency of the library building communicates the openness of its operation. Towards the canal the library forms sheltered courtyard spaces, which can be used for theatrical performances and other events. The character of the library is based on the timeless values of architecture, attention to site requirements, spatial variety, well-thought-out views and vivacious use of natural light as an element of the interior.


The principal part of the building has a reinforced concrete frame, with the exception of the reading room, which has a frame of glue-laminated timber. The facade materials are painted timber and glass. Silk screen printing was used to create patterns emulating the lightness of lace, in the making of which Rauma has a long tradition, to the glass parts of the facade.


The City of Rauma held an invited architectural competition on the library in spring 2000 and the competition entry which the design is based on, was awarded the first prize.