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“Typologies are dead,” says Teemu Kurkela, a founding partner at the Finnish firm JKMM Architects. His point is that, when it comes to design, people no longer think in rigid categories. Today, the world is replete with hybrid and multi-purpose buildings: a residential and office tower that doubles as a market square (Markthal, in Rotterdam), a corporate office that resembles a Prairie-style mansion (McKinsey & Company headquarters, in Toronto), a power plant that moonlights as an artificial ski slope (Amager Bakke, in Copenhagen). Over the past two decades, however, no single typology has been adapted quite as aggressively as that of the library.

In the past, libraries were repositories of knowledge, primarily (as the name implies)...

A Finnish Library That’s More Than Just a Beacon For Bookworms

In a coastal community west of Helsinki, a new multi-purpose library by JKMM Architects is a community hub like no other.

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