Lonely Planet Writer

With 3D printers, movie theatres and music studios, these fabulous new Nordic libraries will become tourist attractions

Two new public libraries are being built in Finland and Norway, and they are likely to draw both families and visitors when completed. The Käännös library in Helsinki will open in 2018 and the Deichman Library in Oslo is due to begin operation in 2019, and both libraries will be public spaces and cultural centres.

The new Deichman library. Image: Atelier Oslo og Lund Hagem arkitekter
The new Deichman library. Image: Atelier Oslo og Lund Hagem arkitekter

The library in Helsinki is designed by designed by ALA Architects, and it will have a 3D printer, a movie theatre and a music recording studio. Its top floor will be lined with trees, and it will be built beside the Bay of Töölö.

The Käännös library in Helsinki. Image: ALA Architects
The Käännös library in Helsinki. Image: ALA Architects

Oslo is building what will become one of Europe’s most modern libraries in Bjørvika. Aside from its extensive book collection, the Deichman Library will encompass a movie theatre, media workshops, gaming zones, lounges and a restaurant.

The Käännös library in Helsinki. Image: ALA Architects
The Käännös library in Helsinki. Image: ALA Architects

The library has been designed with sustainability in mind by Lund Hagem Architects in collaboration with Atelier Oslo. Its facade is being built from material that ensures minimal heat loss.

The Käännös library in Helsinki. Image: ALA Architects
The Käännös library in Helsinki. Image: ALA Architects

After dark, the building will glow and change its appearance as a reflection of all the different activities and events that take place inside.

 

One unique project the library will curate is an 100-year art project called Future Library, which has been conceived by Scottish artist Katie Paterson. The idea is that 100 manuscripts will be written over 100 years using trees from a dedicated pinewood forest outside Oslo.

The new Deichman library. Image: Atelier Oslo og Lund Hagem arkitekter
The new Deichman library. Image: Atelier Oslo og Lund Hagem arkitekter

One will be added each year and they will remain unpublished in a special room in the library until the year 2114. The first manuscript was written by Nobel-prize winning author Margaret Atwood.

The new Deichman library. Image: Atelier Oslo og Lund Hagem arkitekter
The new Deichman library. Image: Atelier Oslo og Lund Hagem arkitekter

If these Nordic libraries are the way forward, it looks like the days of going to the library to merely borrow a book are well behind us.

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