— Marc Anton Dahmen | Studio DMTW 

Aiming to provide a meeting place for information, knowledge, skills, and stories, the proposal by Marc Anton Dahmen | Studio DMTW for the Helsinki Central Library competition reflects the creativity, innovation and interaction for the people of Helsinki. Resulting in the sculptural massing of the building, their design derives from the creation of an vertical circulation element, connecting the building by transiting from one function to another throughout the entire collection area.

— STL Architects

Helsinki, a city committed to finding the evolving nature of culture in an ever changing society, is the inspiration behind STL Architects’ proposal for the new Library. If a library is a container of culture with the mission of making knowledge available to the people, then Helsinki is one of the greatest libraries in the world. The new Helsinki Central Library is conceived as a reflection of its city, acting as a filter of cultural activity, and honoring the lifeblood of the Heart of Helsinki: its people.

— PAR and Arup

In contrast to the other buildings in the Töölönlahti District of Helsinki, an essential component of the design by PAR and Arup for the Central Library involved creating a public space at the top of the library—visually connecting Töölönlahti to Senate Square and the city at large. The library is organized by six intersecting axes that afford spectacular vistas while creating a variety of spatial configurations for the library’s program. With it’s six floor levels each pointing toward a celebrated landmark, the Central Library becomes a symbolic center for city.


The proposal for the Helsinki Central Library by OODA tries to merge the most efficient program articulation with a strong concept which intends to suggest the overall theme integrated with Helsinki’s context. Their building acts as a shifting point between the two demarked city urban networks – ancient and modern – merging both, creating a public path that connects to the park while it simultaneously generates the formal composition. The new central library will be much more than a traditional library. It will be a dynamic entity, fully equipped, comprised of the physical spaces themselves as well as technology, library collections, staff, tourists in an all-age designed forefront building.


PRAUD shared with us their concept proposal, titled ‘The Heart of the Metropolis’ for theHelsinki Central Library competition. With the intent for a building that serves a larger civic function by creating a space for congregation at an urban scale, their library design aims at becoming a ‘Living Room’ for the city. The result is a true metropolitan building that not only creates a dialogue with the city, but one within the architectural language, making it timeless and essential for Helsinki.