Helsinki Library, Finland

The city of Helsinki has arranged an open international architectural competition for design of a Central Library. In terms of both the cityscape and its symbolic significance, the Central Library would have been located in the very center of Helsinki, the Toolonlahti (Toolo Bay) area. The new building would form a cohesive totality with the Finnish Parliament building, Helsinki Music Center, Finlandia Hall, Sanoma House and Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art.

This project would be a combination of personal cultivation, culture and entertainment. As an active community hub, it would be a vibrant and functionally versatile meeting place, a house of literature in which the users are the focus. The library would be the forefront of the renewal of the city’s library services and the “Heart of Metropolis: the Heart of Helsinki”.

The new Central Library would be much more than a traditional library. It will be a dynamic entity comprised of the physical spaces themselves as well as technology, library collection, staff, cooperation partners and clients. Of central importance is the benefit gained from new technologies in cooperation with clients and cooperation partners.


This proposal looks a design solution for the Central Library building that:

–          Responds to the challenges set by the cityscape wise unique location

–          Adopts to the urban fabric and blocks of Toolonlahti

–          Is technically and economically feasible

–          Forms a symbolic and significant building that communicates with society and expresses the operational concepts of the building in an intriguing way

–          Offers a functionally high-quality and technically flexible framework for cutting edge and adaptable library operations