The renovation of the Rikhardinkatu Library being prepared – participate in planning the reform of the library

According to the current estimate, the renovation of the Rikhardinkatu Library will begin in 2026. The library will be developed together with the residents of Helsinki. The first phase of the joint development project is a Kerrokantasi survey, opened on Tuesday 28 November.

The Rikhardinkatu Library is the first building in the Nordic countries to be designed as a public library, and the oldest location of the Helsinki City Library. The library was opened in the building designed by architect Theodor Höijer on Rikhardinkatu on 1 September 1882. The library building has changed many times along the years. The latest major renovations were carried out in the 1980s, at which time a spiral staircase was built to the tower of books, and its current appearance was created.

Today brings another new phase to the building, which has already seen several changes and renovations. The building services engineering, including the pipes, electricity, and heating and cooling system, need to be renewed. The accessibility of the facilities also needs to be improved. The time is also right to think about what kinds of hopes the clients have for the Rikhardinkatu Library today and in the future.

‘This amazing and beloved library truly deserves to be renovated to see new glory. At the same time, we want to invite the residents of Helsinki to think about how we could develop the appeal of the Rikhardinkatu Library. We absolutely want to preserve the unique atmosphere, but also want to make the renewed library serve the residents even better and in a more accessible way than before. I want to invite all friends of the Rikhardinkatu Library to plan the renewals,’ rejoices Chief Librarian Juha Kortesluoma.

The joint development project starts with a Kerrokantasi survey, open from 28 November to 19 December

The residents are invited to participate in the renewing of the Rikhardinkatu Library in several phases. The joint development project opens on Tuesday 28 November with a Kerrokantasi survey, requesting residents to share their needs and hopes for the future of the library and the entire city centre. 

‘We want to consider the role of the library as part of the development of the centre of Helsinki and the city’s overall library network. We are aiming to make the renewed Rikhardinkatu Library one of the attractions of the city centre,’ Kortesluoma says.

The planning of the renovations of the Rikhardinkatu Library will proceed in several phases. The renovation needs assessment will be processed by the Culture and Leisure Committee in early 2024. The project and implementation planning will be carried out in 2024–2026, and the constructions are preliminarily estimated to begin in 2026. The aim is to be able to open the renewed library towards the end of 2027. The practical implementation of the renovation will be carried out together with the City Museum and the building control services.

Kerrokantasi -survey

Photo: Virpi Peltola