The Helsinki Central Library international design competition required that Arthur Golding and Associates (AGA) submit a conceptual design to fit a narrow, rectangular site amid monumental civic buildings and incorporate advanced technology in timeless architecture, resulting in a symbolic city building. Additionally, the concept had to ensure ecological efficiency, accommodate an adaptable program of library and community uses, and evidence technical and economic feasibility for its implementation. To meet the complex project criteria, the firm relied on flexible, interoperable information modeling software.
AGA used MicroStation for design, modeling and visualization. The design concept proposed a 15,000 square-meter “building within a building” achieved by creating a transparent, translucent outer skin that forms a veil independent of the interior library floors. To maximize transparency and translucency, the firm designed an advanced structural system without perimeter columns, beams, or mullions. Designing an innovative, multistory climate wall ensured efficient thermal insulation in Helsinki’s cold climate while using integrated photovoltaic cells addressed power supply needs to meet the energy, ecological efficiency criteria of the project.
MicroStation’s interoperability enabled structural and energy/HVAC consultants to share files in different formats, ensuring effective collaboration during the design process. The photorealistic images generated in MicroStation were instrumental in communicating the design’s intent to provide a day-lit, zero-net-energy building.
AGA used MicroStation’s integrated modeling and rendering capabilities to facilitate development of a complex, conceptual design model with photorealistic images. The use of plug-ins allowed incorporation of detailed models of vehicles, trees, escalators, and furniture. MicroStation’s ability to translate, export and import files in different file formats enabled the structural and energy/HVAC engineers to communicate efficiently and effectively.