Book paradise: library in Helsinki


A library of the future has opened in the capital of Finland, inside which there is even a cinema hall and a recording studio. And under the undulating roof with skylights is a giant reading room

A library called Oodi, which translates as “ode” or “poem”, has opened in Helsinki. This not only sounds beautiful, but also denotes a close connection with literature. The author of the project of the building with an area of ​​as much as 17 thousand square meters, located opposite the Finnish parliament, was the local studio ALA Architects.

This is not an ordinary library: there are relatively few books stored inside it – about 100 thousand, and the rest of the space is reserved for a reading room, a cinema, exhibition halls and even a recording studio. It is equipped with the most innovative equipment, including mobile sorting robots, and is part of the unified HelMet system, thanks to which readers have access to 3.4 million books – just need to make a request online.

The structure of the building resembles a bridge: the shape of the facade, lined with spruce boards, at the bottom has a kind of “recess”, revealing the platform in front of the library, and at the level of the third floor – on the contrary, a small ledge with a balcony. The glass front door blurs the line between the exterior and interior.

There are buildings on the ground floor. One floor above is a workshop with 3D printers, recording studios and multifunctional spaces for lectures, exhibitions, negotiations. There is a reading room with bookshelves under the undulating roof. Floor-to-ceiling panoramic windows pour light inside and offer breathtaking views of the city. “The calm atmosphere is conducive to reading, makes it comfortable to study, think and just enjoy,” say the architects.

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