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Helsinki Central Library Architectural Competition

The City of Helsinki arranged an open two-stage international architectural competition for the design of a Central Library. The competition looks for a contemporary library design with the aim to create a vibrant and functionally versatile meeting place, as well as an energy-efficient and architecturally significant building.

The architectural competition has now reached its second stage. From the 544 competition entries that arrived for Stage 1 of the competition, the jury have selected the following six for Stage 2 of the competition.

According to the chairperson of the competition jury, deputy mayor Ritva Viljanen, this six entries provided an answer to the challenge of creating an open and welcoming Central Library. The competitors chosen for stage two will now 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 winner will be announced in June 2013.

The Central Library will be located in the very centre of Helsinki, the Töölönlahti area (“Töölö Bay”),  a site significant in terms of both the cityscape and symbolically. It will be part of a cohesive totality of public buildings together with the Finnish Parliament building, Helsinki Music Centre, Finlandia Hall, Sanoma House and Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art.

It will be a combination of personal cultivation, culture and entertainment. The requirement is to create an energy-efficient, nearly zero-energy building. In the choice of materials and structural solutions the aim is for material efficiency.

The building’s room programme area is 10,000 m². Based on a project feasibility design, the estimated building costs for the project are 69.9 million EUR. The goal is for the building to be completed in 2017, and it will be a project marking the centenary of Finland’s independence. The competition is also a part of the World Design Capital Helsinki 2012 programme.

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