Competition 1st prize 1998


Turku, Finland


Completed 2007


6 900 sqm


City of Turku

Interior design

Turku Central Library

The new City Library in Turku is located at the historical centre of the city. The building is the latest addition to a block with the old library and several other historically significant buildings.

The ground floor houses a reception and lounge areas, a children’s and youth section, and a modernized version of a periodicals reading room called the news market.
The aim was to create the best children’s area in the world. The result is a miniature town with blocks and houses made of bookshelves. A Zeppelin flys in the sky with clouds and the sun. A large curtain recreates a magic forest.

The main stairway opens to the main room of the building, a monumental space containing the non-fiction stacks and reading areas. The guiding principle was flexibility. The rooms are open, and the functions are limited only by the transformability of the easy-to-move furniture.

Art is integrated everywhere into the library – shining, colourful plexiglass with mirrors at the main entrance, ornaments all over the walls and the golden ceiling in the staff’s lounge room.

European Oak is the main material in the wall furnishing and furniture. The structure of the building was made from concrete cast on site, which was left exposed as an important part of the interior design. Glass was given a seminal role both in the outer architecture and the interior world. Transparency befits this type of building: a public library building should evoke the idea of openness.

Read more about the architecture design of Turku Library here.