Oodi – Helsinki Central Library

Oodi, Helsinki’s new Central Library, comes to life thanks to the recent completion of the square and of the panoramic terrace


Overview of the area hosting Oodi library, ph: © Tuomas Uusheimo / ALA Architects

Oodi, inaugurated in December 2018 on the occasion of the 101st anniversary of the Independence of Finland, is the jewel in the crown of the Finnish network of internationally renowned public libraries and represents a new model for the future development of libraries worldwide.

The west side of the building overlooks Kansalaistori square, ph: © Tuomas Uusheimo / ALA Architects

Oodi’s position, opposite the Parliament House of Finland, was chosen to symbolize the relationship between the government and the people, and to emphasize the task of Finnish public libraries, i.e. promote learning, educational activities, democracy and freedom of expression.

Panoramic terrace of the reading room on the third level, ph: © Tuomas Uusheimo / ALA Architects

The project, by Finnish practice ALA Architects, winner of the international competition announced by the City of Helsinki in 2012, speaks a contemporary international language adapted to Finland.

Reading hall on the third level called “Book Heaven”, ph: © Tuomas Uusheimo / ALA Architects

Oodi is spread over three levels: the ground floor hosts the reception desk and areas dedicated to entertainment and restaurants; the intermediate level hosts laboratories, recording studios and spaces dedicated to educational, play, multimedia activities; the top floor, nicknamed “Book Heaven”, is a beautiful reading room with a wavy white ceiling, offering breathtaking views of the city thanks to the large glass wall and the panoramic terrace.

All the spaces of the new library have been designed to offer a versatile use and a variety of innovative services, in addition to traditional functions such as reading and loans, favoring learning, research, sharing and the organization of meetings, events and exhibitions.

Area of the reading room dedicated to families with children, ph: © Tuomas Uusheimo / ALA Architects

[Text: Arianna Callocchia]

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