Helsinki – Oodi is a civic space that transforms the library into a technology-driven leisure hub for the local community.
The ideology behind public libraries is that they traditionally act as a meeting place for residents to read, work and study. The directors of Oodi, however, want to expand how the local community uses the space by incorporating a cinema, restaurant, recording studios and gaming room. The workshop, which includes 3D printers and laser cutters, also allows visitors to repair personal items or create their own.
Tommi Laitio, Helsinki’s executive director for culture and leisure, explained that the building is intended to be used as both a co-working space and a town square, as Helsinki often experiences extreme weather and so being outside for prolonged periods is not an option. ‘We have to make sure that libraries aren’t just relevant for people who can’t afford books or a computer,’ says Laitio.