Key Information

The new millennium requires a new library – the Central Library. The Central Library offers a public space open to all in the heart of the city. It will raise the profile of Helsinki and form the display window of this creative city.

It will be easy to come to the Central Library, as a beloved house of education, to concentrate, learn and work. It will be made into the city residents’ own house where culture can be created individually or with others. This digitally intelligent library will provide the city residents with information to support their decision-making in everyday life. Learning, competence sharing and opening of contents are supported by means of different technologies.

The Central Library will complement the Töölönlahti culture cluster with a house of literary art, where literature finds new forms. A place of civic participation will rise opposite the Parliament House that will bring together those interested in city culture and civic participation.

Why Central Library is needed

  • Open, non-commercial, public space – 2.5 million visits annually
  • Information and skills for a more functional society
  • Rich city experience created by the residents themselves
  • The book’s new life – a house of reading in Töölönlahti
  • Pioneer in intelligent everyday life
  • A library for all senses – a new programme every day

Key Information

  • 10,000 daily visitors, 2.5 million annually
  • 10,000 square metres of future library
  • Open on weekdays from 8 am to 10 pm, on weekends from 10 am to 8 pm
  • Books, films, magazines, music in many languages and in many forms
  • Quiet islands and spaces for calming down
  • Children’s world and family library
  • Interaction, group work and workshop areas
  • Presentations and testing opportunities of new technical applications
  • Support, information and tools for those making use of open data
  •  ‘The library as an urban office’ working area
  • Music, recording and video studios
  • Listening, viewing and games rooms
  • Cinema, exhibition facilities
  • Event facilities, information points for use by changing actors
  • Café, restaurant
  • Tourist attraction where tourists can also familiarise themselves with the everyday life of Finns
  • Design: ALA Architects Ltd.
  • Masterpiece of timber construction, eco-efficient almost zero-energy building


  • Preparations with the winning team 8/2013-11/2013
  • The consultant of construction and technical planners were chosen according to the EU regulations 11/2013
  • The project plan was ready for the decision making 9/2014, legal 1/2015
  • Possible changes in the City Plan 10/2013-3/2015
  • The implementation planning 3/2015-3/2016
  • Preparations for construction, EU tender requests 4/2016-10/2016
  • Construction begins 11/2016
  • Topping-out ceremony in May 2018
  • The building is completed 8/2018
  • Interior decoration and furnishing 9-11/2018
  • The opening ceremony 12/2018

The Central Library will be the main project of the year celebrating Finland’s 100 years of independence

Everyone has a constitutional right to personal development. Finland chose the strategy of competence and education a long time ago and the library is one of its manifestations. The library provides equal opportunities to all, and everyone can choose for themselves and find their personal path.

Helsinki city library’s vision for 2017

The library is a place full of new ideas. By sharing information, knowledge and stories, we are creating a new civil society together.


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