May 27, 2022

Architecture: Helsinki Central Library Competition Winner Announced

From the City of Helsinki:

An international architectural competition for the Helsinki Central Library has been completed. The winning design of this competition titled Heart of the Metropolis – Helsinki Central Library is Käännös by the Finnish firm ALA Architects of Helsinki.

No second prize was awarded. Liblab by Playa Architects and Kasi by Verstas Architects, both Helsinki-based Finnish firms, shared the third prize. The jury awarded five distinctions. The results were announced on June 14, 2013.

The jury recommends that ALA Architects be commissioned to design the library building. According to plan, the library will be completed in 2017 to celebrate the centennial of Finnish independence. The library is the Finnish Government’s official centennial project.

The Helsinki Central Library is envisioned as a next-generation library. Located in the cultural heart of Helsinki in the Töölö Bay area, the library will be a landmark cultural building, a meeting place, and a citizens’ living room. The library is expected to receive 5,000 visitors per day — 1.5 million annually.


The library project has been carried out with active civic participation. All submissions were put on exhibit, and the general public could vote for their favorite design at the exhibit, on touchscreens placed in the city center, and online. The voting results were reviewed by the jury. The winning design is one of the popular choices. Public feedback and ideas for the library have been sought from the beginning of the library project to be used in the development of operations.

See Also: Official Announcement (with Drawing of New Building)
Finnish to English translation via Google Translate

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.