Helsinki Central Library Oodi has been announced as a finalist in the Europe category of the British Guild of Travel Writers’ International Tourism Awards 2019.
The prestigious awards recognise excellence in tourism projects in three categories: ‘UK and Ireland’, ‘Europe’, and ‘Wider World’. Guild members nominated projects that have opened, or started, within the last three years and which they believe deserve wider recognition.
Helsinki Central Library Oodi was nominated by travel writer and BGTW member Tim Bird. Commenting on the project, he says:
“Oodi – Ode – was conceived as a gift to the citizens of Finland on the occasion of its centenary of Independence, although it opened at the end of 2018. It’s a fabulously designed piece of innovative architecture that adds to the Finnish capital’s expanding, eclectic appeal as a cultural tourism destination, a stunning building that complements the central Helsinki skyline. It is a non-commercial, urban public space that is open to all visitors, not only Helsinki citizens, as a place to rest, to enjoy a relaxed coffee or lunch, or to drink in the view of central landmarks from the third-floor balcony. It stages events, has quiet spaces, exhibition spaces, a cinema, 3D printers, sewing machines, work stations, a children’s play area and, oh yes, it’s a library, so it loans out over 100,000 books! It is the best possible example of the Nordic approach to public spaces – unstuffy, welcoming, multifunctional and aesthetically pleasing.”
The winners of the BGTW International Tourism Awards will be announced on 3 November at the BGTW Annual Gala Awards Dinner at The Savoy hotel in central London.
The British Guild of Travel Writers is a community of accredited writers, photographers, and broadcasters; the trusted body for independent editorial comment and expert content on worldwide travel.