Helsinki Central Library
Tuomas Uusheimo

Helsinki Central Library Oodi

Helsinki, Finland

Finland is one of the world’s most literate countries, and in December it opened a 185,000-sq.-ft. landmark that speaks to this accomplishment: a library of the future. But what does the future entail? Robot librarians, it seems, and game rooms, recording studios, an immersive 3-D chamber with illuminated walls, a movie theater and multiple concert areas. And of course, it’s a great place to read: the top floor (dubbed “book heaven”) has floor-to-ceiling windows, set off by low, white aluminum bookshelves, and abundant seating. To emphasize the light and air, nine living trees stand tall over the shelves. —Kaitlin Menza

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