Snapshot: Helsinki University Library

May 2013
Anttinen Oiva Architects

By Rita Catinella Orrell

Snapshot: Helsinki University Library
Photo © Tuomas Uusheimo


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The dramatic white interior of the University of Helsinki's new main library, by local firm Anttinen Oiva Architects, is striking for its curving travertine-marble staircase, its Finnish furnishings, and the oval-shaped voids the architects carved out of the center of the floor plates. The rotunda brings in daylight and helps visitors grasp the building's spatial organization at a glance. Opened to the public last September, the seven-floor urban-infill project was built on the site of an old department store in the capital's downtown, and consolidates libraries that had previously operated in 10 different locations.

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