The modern library is the last bastion of truly public space. It is the storehouse of knowledge information and news, a place for social encounter and exchange. It is therefore significant that the City of Helsinki have elected to make the proposed library and community centre the centrepiece of a new public space that will transform the heart of Helsinki. The particular and unique character of this site informs the building design; the integration with public space enriches the building and reaffirms its role as mediator between the home city and global knowledge networks, The library provides space both for quiet study and reflection as well as communal gatherings and public representations. These are the two strands fundamental to the project: the connection with the public realm and the manipulation of space to reflect the duality of private and public space.