The renovation works of the Lähde Library on Jyväskylä campus commissioned by SYK were completed in summer 2021. As a result of the renovation, the building now feels more spacious than ever, when for example former book storage rooms were converted into public spaces. The spaces were made more versatile in close collaboration with the architect and the users: the Open Science Centre, the Digital Services staff, and the students of the University of Jyväskylä.
The Lähde Library now houses the library, museum and open science services Open Science Centre, University Digital Services, and Student Life well-being services for students. In addition, restaurant Taide and café Tiede are located in the library building. The Science for All events offer the newest scientific knowledge to ordinary citizens with the help of science and art education methods.
The building is located on city centre side of the campus. According to the Head of Museum Operations of the University of Jyväskylä Pirjo Vuorinen, due to the location there was a wish to make Lähde an open communal space that lowers the threshold for ordinary people to participate in scientific endeavours.
A new meeting point that pays tribute to the original
In the planning phase of the renovation, the emphasis was to create a new meeting point for students and other library users. A complete renovation of the 1970s building meant renewing entire building services engineering in order for it meet demands of today and the future.
According to the SYK Head of Property Development and Management Aki Havia , the heating, plumbing, and ventilation systems were renewed in Lähde and a cooling system was added.
– The renewal of the ventilation system required building a new machine room on the roof. This ensured compliance with the latest recommendations concerning ventilation capacity and indoor conditions, Havia says.
In the renovation, the insulation, brick facade and windows were changed, and new windows were added in the café. Due to the implementation of new layout solutions and the renovation of the basement, openings for manholes and light were made on the 1st floor plate. The roof covering was also renewed and the supporting structures of the roof were enforced due to the new machine room. While many things were renewed in the building, the aim was to preserve the general atmosphere as much as possible.
– We wanted to appreciate the cultural heritage of the building and preserve the 1970s atmosphere, Vuorinen says.
The renovation of the library proceeded according to the plans and was completed on schedule. The COVID-19 pandemic caused some challenges in the renovation and the inauguration of Lähde, but so far people seem to have found their way to new library, SYK Account Manager Kaisa Pitkänen says.
– A while ago, I was visiting the library on a Friday afternoon and it was full of students despite the timing, Pitkänen recalls.
The library invites people to the fountain of knowledge
The new name Lähde refers to a fountain. It won the open library name contest organized by the University of Jyväskylä. Many suggestions were made, out of which Lähde was finally chosen as a winner. The name Lähde is considered to invite people to the fountain of knowledge. In addition, it refers to nature that is an integral part of the architecture of the building. For example, the large windows in the restaurant and café open into the beautiful Seminaarinmäki park bringing nature literally indoors.
– Our expectations of the renovation and general appearance of the spaces were met. The freshness of the indoor space, the colours and the decorative elements of a certain era were preserved. The original furniture was taken into account in the renovation. This is sustainable development at its best, when existing materials are used as much as possible, Vuorinen says.
Watch a video of the Lähde Library below: