Turku Central Library
Turku used to be the number one town in Finland until 1809 when Helsinki was made the capital city. After the passing of the Scandinavian Classicists and the early functionalist architects Alvar Aalto and Erik Bryggmann, the city was best known for its eagerness to tear down older buildings and replace them with structures commissioned by friends of local politicians and bankers. But recently Turku's name has once again begun to appear in association with quality architecture like the new city library. The new extension was built alongside the old baroque-inspired building. On the upper level is the central book hall, with in situ cast concrete ceiling and slender columns. Dominating the whole is European oak, which has been used for wall panelling, built-in furniture and bookcases. Contrasting nicely with this is the red, pre-cast concrete spiral staircase connecting the central book hall with the next level.