What is Oodi? / Architecture

Oodi’s architecture

Oodi is a striking building with its glass and steel structures and wooden facade, its design a combination of traditional and contemporary flavours. The energy-efficient library is an impressive calling card for Finnish architecture. ALA Architects is responsible for the architectural planning and YIT is the building contractor.

A calling card for Finnish architecture

The library building in the heart of Helsinki consists almost entirely of public space and offers a wide selection of services. It is the new central point for the city’s impressive public library network. The design divides the functions of the library into three distinctive levels: an active ground floor, a peaceful upper floor, and an enclosed in-between volume containing more specific functions.

This concept has been developed into an arching form that invites people to utilize the spaces and services underneath, inside and on top of it. The resulting building is an inspiring and highly functional addition to the urban life of Helsinki and the Töölönlahti area.

Apart from the top floor, Oodi’s facade is made entirely from wood, which softens the general appearance of the architecture around Töölö Bay. The wood used for the exterior wall is spruce. The energy-efficient library is an impressive and alluring calling card for Finnish architecture.


Oodi is one of the freest buildings in Helsinki, or even the Nordic Countries, where the visitor can do many things and take initiative in what they want to do. It is a constantly learning and developing tool for those living in or visiting Helsinki.
Antti Nousjoki, ALA Architects

Three floors, three atmospheres

Oodi has three floors, each with its own atmosphere. This makes it easier for users to find the services they need.

Ground floor

Oodi’s ground floor is a fast-paced, ever-changing space with its multiple entrances. The spacious lobby, public facilities and event venues, library services and café create a cosy atmosphere.

Second floor

The second floor is dedicated to work, activities, learning, interaction and spending time with friends and family, and it has rooms available to meet the needs of active citizens. The facilities on this floor include studios, game rooms, work and meeting space, an urban workshop, and facilities for courses and interaction.

Third floor

The third floor is home to the Book Heaven: a place to relax and unwind with its books, reading oases and cafés. Helsinki’s urban landscape can be admired from the library’s Citizens’ Balcony.

Oodi was designed by ALA Architects, who won the open international architecture competition for the Central Library in 2013. The starting point was that the building should be a public, open to everyone, safe, and free of charge city space in the heart of the city.

Find more information on architect agency ALA’s website