University of Arts, Theatre Academy

Function University
Area 8000 m²
Client University of the Arts Helsinki
Year 2014
Location Helsinki, Finland

At the beginning of the 2010s, the Theater Academy identified the need to change library facilities, improve the usability of lobby facilities and build student rehearsal facilities.

When the premises were renovated in 2000, the library had fixed shelves in the library to avoid the need to strengthen the weak floor structure, and a garage in the basement, which had not proved necessary. The need for partial renovation was underlined by the needs for the development of office space distribution over the past fifteen years, as well as the shortcomings of building technology and partial obsolescence and the lobby space, which proved to be attractive.

Crowded and difficult-to-use spaces were demolished from the library's premises, and floor structures were strengthened to enable the shelves and shelf division to be renewed. At the same time, the direction and height of the shelves were changed so that the natural light conditions of the library could be improved and a new, bright browsing point and magazine reading area could be built through the windows typical of an industrial building. At the same time, the library's new glass partitions in the direction of the lobby helped to remove the strain of the previously drawn space and improve the sound world.

To address the crampedness of the lobby and the exhibition needs to be kept in the lobby, several solution models were studied. In the end, a series of measures were taken to improve the conditions in the lobby, which at the same time made it possible to build a new lobby stage, transform the garage under the lobby into a warehouse and transform the space under the stage into a student training room with gym equipment. Previously dark and rather low, the internal height of the space under the stage and which was underused was raised by almost two meters, and at the same time the training space received natural light from the windows opened to the vertical surfaces of the stage through the lobby. The former cramped lobby and dark basement space, opened into a spacious new venue and a bright rehearsal space.

Photography by Mika Huisman and Eric Rawlins.