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Building the Central Library openly together


This year, the Central Library project ball is in the court of the city’s inhabitants and the project partner groups: what kind of library or ‘urban town hall’ do they want to see in Töölönlahti in 2017? This is genuine interaction – a building that is still under construction, yet already lives through its users.We are collecting information and ideas so that we can build a good library for the future. All year, the people of Helsinki and our partners have an opportunity to participate in the Central Library project and serve as its messengers. So catch the ball and join us in designing a new library for the whole city in Töölönlahti! 

Building the Central Library through crowdsourcing and group work

We invite the city’s inhabitants and our partners to design the Central Library together through various workshops and other events. We kick-started the project in March with a youngsters’ workshop, and the work continues at Annantalo Arts Centre with the help of professionals in children’s culture. Then we will move on to work on the digital architecture of the Central Library. The project themes for April are family and ‘word art’. We will post updates about the workshops on this site.

The city’s inhabitants and project partners can provide abundant first-hand information on how a new type of library could serve them and on the new needs they face in areas of life within the library’s service range. We want to include everyone in the Central Library planning process from the very beginning.

Let’s meet up at city events!

You can take part in the planning of the Central Library via various open city events. On the weekend of Helsinki Week, 16–17 June, the Central Library can be found in the WDC pavilion, between the Design Museum and the Museum of Finnish Architecture. It will be featured as a pop-up on the Night of the Arts, 23rd August, and as a ‘future laboratory’ on the city libraries’ Open House Day, Sunday, 7 October. During these events, the customer can take active part, just as they will be able to at the library, and share their ideas and dreams for the library of tomorrow.

Admire the first round’s competition entries in May

The architectural competition for the Central Library was launched on 5 January. The winner will be selected in summer 2013. The first-round entries will be exhibited to the public between 10 and 16 May in the Bunkkeri exhibition facilities. Six to eight entries will go through to a virtual exhibit in September and be displayed physically in spring 2013. These exhibitions are a chance for the people of the city to share their ideas and visions for the new Central Library. This site will provide schedule and content updates this spring and summer.


Ways for you to participate in the designing of the Central Library:

  • Write down your ideas for the Central Library and submit them via the digital Tree of Dreams application, available on the front page of this site. The Central Library sprouts from our own dreams.
  • Come meet us. Participate in the open events. Consult this site for more information on events and their schedule.
  • Contact us directly to share your ideas. Follow this link for our contact information.
  • Join the Central Library support group on Facebook. We will keep you up to date on news, events, competitions, and the progress of the design project.
  • Keep an eye on interactive workshop news and share your comments on this site.
  • Send us your suggestions on interactive workshop content, target groups, and methods. Follow this link for our contact information.
  • Follow the progress of the architectural competition through the competition site and come share your own vision of the Central Library at the exhibits of entries. This site will provide more updates on the exhibitions’ dates and content.


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