A truly public space
Oodi has been designed together with the city’s residents so that it can best correspond with the wishes and needs that library users have. Oodi will complement the cultural and media hub formed by Helsinki Music Centre, Finlandia Hall, Sanoma House and the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma. Oodi will be a non-commercial, urban public space that is open to all, right opposite the Parliament Building.
A calling card for Finnish architecture
The library building in the heart of Helsinki will consist almost entirely of public space and will offer a wide selection of services. It will become the new central point for the city’s impressive public library network. The design divides the functions of the library into three distinctive levels: an active ground floor, a peaceful upper floor, and an enclosed in-between volume containing more specific functions.
This concept has been developed into an arching form that invites people to utilize the spaces and services underneath, inside and on top of it. The resulting building will be an inspiring and highly functional addition to the urban life of Helsinki and the Töölönlahti area.
Apart from the top floor, Oodi’s facade is made entirely from wood, which softens the general appearance of the architecture around Töölö Bay. The wood used for the exterior wall is spruce. The energy-efficient library is an impressive and alluring calling card for Finnish architecture.
Three floors, three atmospheres
Oodi will have three floors, each with its own atmosphere. This will make it easier for users to find the services they need.
Oodi’s ground floor will be a fast-paced, ever-changing space with its multiple entrances. The spacious lobby, public facilities and event venues, library services and café will create a cosy atmosphere.
The second floor will be dedicated to work, activities, learning, interaction and spending time with friends and family, and it will have rooms available to meet the needs of active citizens. The facilities on this floor will include studios, game rooms, work and meeting space, an urban workshop, and facilities for courses and interaction.
The third floor will be home to the Book Heaven: a place to relax and unwind with its books, reading oases and cafés. Helsinki’s urban landscape can be admired from the library’s Citizens’ Balcony.
Oodi was designed by ALA Architects, who won the open international architecture competition for the Central Library in 2013. Oodi is a striking building with its glass and steel structures and wooden facade. The design is a combination of traditional and contemporary flavours.
Read more: ALA Architects