Oodi

Oodi_1
Municipality
Helsinki
Country
Finland
Type
Library

Description

As part of Finland’s centenary celebrations, Helsinki is now home to Oodi, is a magnificent hybrid wooden construction and landmark that serves to refresh the city’s library services for 150 years to come. The centrepiece of library, which will serve as a flexible open public space for an estimated 10,000 daily visitors, is a gigantic wooden bridge structure that extends out towards the Finnish Parliament across the Citizens’ Square. The wooden façade consists of 2,800 prefabricated elements of local spruce, which have undergone years of aging and fire testing and optimisation. The process was data-driven using laser scanning to ensure precision of the components’ production and assembly.

In Finnish homes and schools, wood is gaining traction as a sustainable building material, but large public buildings are yet to realise the full benefits of timber construction. One of the major barriers is unfamiliarity amongst authorities, so from the outset Oodi worked with the authorities to ensure the project met up to regulation, and the resulting quality assurance procedure is publicly available to help future projects of this nature. Built to last for 150 years, the library is a nearly zero-energy building, designed for ease of maintenance with easily replaceable wooden elements. Oodi demonstrates the possibilities of constructing public buildings using low-carbon, local building materials that last.

Photo credits: Tuomas Uusheimo.

Learnings

Sustainability

Environment

Using low-carbon wooden elements brings the carbon footprint of the building down to 280kg CO2eq per square meter, and the natural properties reduce the need for HVAC, reducing energy use and increasing architectural flexibility.

Social and local

Social and Local

Oodi is so much more than a place to borrow books, with the focus on flexible public space that can be used for a huge number of purposes from eating and drinking to watching films and theatre.

Partnerships

Partnerships

The process brought together a large number of players, including Aalto University who worked with the testing of elements, and the local authorities to ensure harmony between the building’s design and the regulation

Client
City of Helsinki
Architect
ALA Architects
Contractor
YIT
Engineer
Ramboll
Project period
2013-2018
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