2019 shortlists

Helsinki Central Library Oodi
by ALA Architects

This new central library in the heart of Helsinki, Finland, is topped with large open-plan reading room and consists almost entirely of public spaces.

The Helsinki Central Library Oodi, designed by Finnish studio ALA Architects, has an undulating roof punctured by circular skylights. Located opposite the Finnish Parliament, Finland's flagship library is a 17,250-square-metre building containing recording studios, a maker space, and areas for hosting exhibitions and events. The studio wanted to create an interplay between the three distinct public floors through a bridge-like structure. The library is divided up into an "active" ground floor, a "serene" top floor and an enclosed in-between volume containing group working areas, recording studios, editing rooms and an urban lab. Online services and book-sorting robots offer users access to nearly 3.4 million books, which can be delivered to the building.

Architect: ALA Architects
Project: Helsinki Central Library Oodi
Shortlisted for: Cultural building
Read more: ALA Architects


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