Töölö library, Helsinki, Finland – a design Pearl

Written by Library Planet editor Marie Eiriksson, library consultant at Gladsaxe Public Libraries, Denmark.

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Töölö Library was designed by architect Aarne Ervi, who worked with Alvar Aalto, and many of the classical Aalto furniture can be seen throughout the building.

The building is from 1970 but was renovated i 2014-16.

Many of the original features was brought back to life and today the library has a new retro feeling.

The light that pours in from the windows covering one side of the library is magic. Everywhere you look shadows are playing on the many different textures and muted colours.

The library feels active but quiet and has the biggest silent reading room in Helsinki.

The childrens library is small and cosy. It has equal parts childrens furniture and playarea and lounge furniture for their parents facing the gigant windows and the view of the beautiful birch trees in the park.

When the library opened in 1970, it featured the first music section in Helsinki.

The music library is still functioning and seems a very classic music library with cds, music books and a dedicated music librarian.

When the library underwent a major renovation from 2014 to 2016, the original solutions were restored – including the ear-shaped benches in the music section.

The ear benches are not the only anatomical reference in the library. The spiral staircase runs through the entire building from top to bottom, and looks like a giant eye watching you from the roof.

A look of the beautiful exterior of the building and snow.

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