Helsinki’s Central Library Oodi

Oodi is the winner of the main DETAIL Prize 2020

Helsinki’s Central Library Oodi is the winner of the main category of the German DETAIL Prize 2020. The prize is awarded every other year by the DETAIL magazine focusing on architecture and structural design. It is awarded to buildings with a unique design concept and details that are carefully planned, forward-looking and technically innovative.

This time, the first main prize was awarded to two buildings: Oodi by ALA Architects, and People’s Pavilion, a temporary construction made of recycled materials by BureauSLA and Overtreders W in Eindhoven, Netherlands.

The jury made the following statement regarding Oodi:

“Far beyond its function as a repository of knowledge, the new Helsinki Central Library clearly sets an example for the fields of culture and education as well as for the potential of social interaction in our increasingly atomised cities.

The architects have solved complex urban planning and functional challenges with a memorable design that in its implementation has lost none of the fascination of the original competition concept.

The building’s form seems spontaneous and yet is evidently carefully thought out: the bridge construction that opens the centre of the building to the city is in fact responding to structural contingencies. The division of the structure into a hull-like, timber-clad base with a dematerialised glass lantern above convinces.

From the grandest gesture to the smallest detail, this building impresses with a sophistication that has already turned it into a beacon for excellence in architecture.“

The jury included DETAIL’s editor-in-chief Sandra Hofmeister, architect Louisa Hutton from the Sauerbruch Hutton agency, the founder of the 3XN architecture agency Kim Herforth Nielsen, the director of the Mies van der Rohe foundation Anna Ramos, and architect Jacob van Rijs from the MVRDV agency.

More information about the award: https://www.detail-online.com/micropages/detail-prize-2020/