Turku Main Library (part of the Turku City Library)

JKMM ArchitectsFinland

The Turku Main Library is a functional, modern building in a medieval setting.

Year of completion: 

Linnankatu 2, 20100 Turku, Finland

Size of library: 
Category of library: 
Architectural idea or principle: 

"A modern library needs to respond to the challenges of current and future communications. On the other hand, the library institution has a long and worthy legacy as a place where information is stored and cherished. The architect has to confront these opposites and somehow combine them.” Main architect Asmo Jaaksi, JKMM Architects Ltd

Special features, internal: 

The oak walls and furniture, the white coffered ceiling, the slim pillars, granite floor and dark carpet create a soothing atmosphere to the new section of the building, both visually and in terms of the soundscape. In addition to the classic design furniture, the furnishing consists of unique pieces designed by the interior architect. The technical systems, pipes and cables, are hidden under the access floor, leaving the surfaces plain and stylish. On the other hand, the old library building leans towards the classicism of past centuries and is a jewel of its era. Art is an integral part of the whole building.

Special features, external: 

The bookcases open out onto the surrounding cityscape through the large windows which pierce and lighten the solid concrete surface of the new library building. The big windows and their supporting structures are made of specially constructed, super-clear glass. An expressive glass passage joins the old library to the new one, passing the former governor’s office from 1818 – now converted into a café – along the way. In the centre of the complex is a plaza resembling a town square, giving the place the air of a city block.

Overall Cost: 
€ 30.000.000
Detailed description: 

The Turku Main Library comprises the new section completed in 2007 and the old library building that was completely renovated in 2008. The individual buildings together form an architectonically powerful whole with a modern character which is also manifest in the interior. Modern technology at the Main Library offers new services and makes it easier to use the library independently. As the busiest library in Finland, the Turku Main Library provides its customers with a wide and varied collection of library materials in both printed and electronic form. The collections are complemented by the various exhibitions and events organized every day at the library.

Front of building: 
Side of building: 
Special view outside: 
Special view inside: 
Special departments: 
Circulation desk: