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Six Proposals to Progress in Competition!


Heart of the Metropolis, the architectural competition for the design of the Helsinki Central Library, has now reached its second stage. The competition jury has selected six competition entries for further consideration. The proposals’ entry numbers and pseudonyms are:

  • 40 Liblab
  • 144 Wave/1
  • 149 Käännös
  • 160 Kasi
  • 357 The Diagonal Agora
  • 375 The Green Metropolis

Images of the entries selected for participation in stage two can be viewed at the webpage of the competition itself and the pages of the Helsinki City Library.

Citizen involvement in developing public libraries

According to the chairperson of the competition jury, deputy mayor Ritva Viljanen, all six entries selected for stage two provided an answer to the challenge of creating an open and welcoming Central Library.

“With the Central Library, our goal is to develop Helsinki’s urban culture and create a city centre where citizens have somewhere to meet and share their ideas”, Viljanen explains.

“The Central library should not be juxtaposed with smaller, local public libraries. Local libraries are suburban community centres for local gatherings. But areas that are free and accessible to all are also necessary in the city centre. Located opposite to the Parliament, the Central Library enhances democracy and grassroots participation, and is known for its Speaker’s Corner.”

“The Central Library allows us to take the entire library field to a new era. Libraries are currently living through a transitional period, with digital media having risen alongside traditional books. Also, the customer base of public libraries is more diverse than ever before. “

“At the same time, the Central Library will also be a place for books and literature. For as long as books exist, libraries will have them,” Viljanen continues

The public has participated eagerly in the library project. An exhibition devoted to the project, in spring 2012, had to be extended due to its popularity. Visitors were given the opportunity to vote for their own favourite proposal for the building. One of the six entries now selected for continuation is the popular favourite, Käännös (number 149). The public has actively shared their hopes and wishes regarding the Central Library.

The competition continues with a refining process

The architectural proposals selected for stage two were chosen for their merits in architecture, urban development and functionality. These proposals were considered to have potential for development according to the project’s technical and ecological goals.

Many different approaches to the same requirements were presented, and it is hoped that stage two will produce several different solutions. The overall value of the proposal was considered more important than flawlessness in detail.

The competition rules are the same in stage two as in the first stage. The competitors chosen for stage two will have the opportunity to develop their proposals further, according to instructions provided by the jury. These instructions focus especially on the wishes and dreams of the public, such as the importance of quiet spaces.

The jury will select a winner from the six proposals. The winner will be announced in June 2013.

The architectural competition of the Central Library is part of the Design Capital Helsinki 2012 program.

Further information:


Photos: Pertti Nisonen

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