Distracted by Design

Like many people, I hadn’t stepped inside a library for years until I had a child. We don’t Wriggle & Rhyme no more but my love affair with libraries has, ironically, been rekindled.

Photo credit: Petteri Kantokari

Photo credit: Petteri Kantokari

Of the five Helsinki libraries I’ve been to, Rikhardinkatu is my favourite. Opened in 1882 it was gifted to the city by Anniskeluyhtiöa company licensed to serve alcohol.

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Designed by architect Carl Theodor Höijer, it was the first building in the Nordic countries to be built as a library. It is spread over four floors and has lots of great different places to sit and read.

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I popped in early yesterday to do some printing and had a great time taking photos before the library filled with different discussion groups and people making use of the study areas.

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There’s a big room full of children’s books in different languages and the top floor is home to the library’s British collection.

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Although quite large, the smaller spaces on each floor create a cosy feeling and there’s one to suit every mood.

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The library is also unique in that it has a large collection of art work, built up over 20 years, from which you can borrow.

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As I walked out of the library I had a smile on my face thinking of all the lovely design features and how someone takes good care of all the plants. I got about three blocks before I realised I had left 17 pages of paper sitting on the library printer.

Rikhardinkatu Library

Art Collection for Borrowing