A shortlist for the Helsinki Central Library competition has been released with the real names of the architecture and engineering firms involved disguised by pseudonyms. Six teams have made it to the final stage and are defined by their competition numbers and assumed names: 44 Liblab; 144 Wave/1; 149 Kaannos; 160 Kasi; 357 The Diagonal Agora; and 375 The Green Metropolis. A winner will be announced in June 2013.
Deputy Major of Helsinki and chairperson of the competition jury Ritva Viljanen commented: “With the Central Library, our goal is to develop Helsinki’s urban culture and create a city centre where citizens have somewhere to meet and share their ideas.
“The Central library should not be juxtaposed with smaller, local public libraries. Local libraries are suburban community centres for local gatherings. But areas that are free and accessible to all are also necessary in the city centre. Located opposite to the Parliament, the Central Library enhances democracy and grassroots participation, and is known for its Speaker’s Corner.”
The public has participated eagerly in the library project. An exhibition devoted to the project in spring 2012 had to be extended due to its popularity. Visitors were given the opportunity to vote for their own favourite proposal for the building. One of the six entries now selected for continuation is the popular favourite, Käännös (number 149).
The competition was posted by WAN Business Information in December 2011.
Update: Entry 149 Kaannos, led by ALA Architects was announced as winner of the Helsinki Central Library competition.