Ritaharju School, Oulu. Joint school and public library; reading nook demarcated by colourful circular fiction shelves; colours denote reading levels. Note lighting, light floor and walls with harmonious colour design and plants.

Joint school and public library; reading nook demarcated by colourful circular fiction shelves; Note lighting, light floor and walls with harmonious colour design and plants.

Rovaniemi Library. Children's area with well-designed tubs for picture books with front-facing slots on top and storage underneath.

Children's area with well-designed tubs for picture books with front-facing slots on top and storage underneath.

Rovaniemi Library was designed by Alvar Aalto. It has small collections at a lower level than the main floor to create reading nooks with distinctive furniture.

Rovaniemi Library was designed by Alvar Aalto. It has small collections at a lower level than the main floor to create reading nooks with distinctive furniture.

Rovaniemi Library. Typical Aalto lighting features and a screen.

Typical Aalto lighting features and a screen.

Children's area in Entresse Library, Espoo.

Children's area in Entresse Library, Espoo.

Rovaniemi Library. Alvar Aalto-designed magazine shelves.

Rovaniemi Library. Alvar Aalto-designed magazine shelves.

Children's area in Entresse Library, Espoo - bright colours, asymmetrical rug, coloured glass soundproof story room.

Children's area in Entresse Library, Espoo - bright colours, asymmetrical rug, coloured glass soundproof story room.

The entry to Entresse Library, Espoo, Finland. Note the coloured perspex hanging from the ceiling and the coloured glass or perspex enclosed rooms.

The entry to Entresse Library, Espoo, Finland. Note the coloured perspex hanging from the ceiling and the coloured glass or perspex enclosed rooms.

Kaisa Library, Helsinki University. The stairwell seen from above echoes the sinuous curves of a snail shell.

The stairwell seen from above echoes the sinuous curves of a snail shell.

Ritaharju joint-use library, Oulu. The non-fiction shelves house material for younger people on the lower shelves and for adults on the top shelves. The shelves have red openings for sitting and browsing.

Ritaharju joint-use library, Oulu. The non-fiction shelves house material for younger people on the lower shelves and for adults on the top shelves. The shelves have red openings for sitting and browsing.

Kaisa Library, Helsinki University. Oval escalator well encased in laminated glass, echoing central oval motif.

Oval escalator well encased in laminated glass, echoing central oval motif.

Kaisa Library, Helsinki University. The oval shapes of the central well are used on most floors to provide student desk space, a very efficient and attractive use of space. They appear to be made from a very durable substance like white Corian.

The oval shapes of the central well are used on most floors to provide student desk space, a very efficient and attractive use of space. They appear to be made from a very durable substance like white Corian.

Kaisa Library, Helsinki University. Wall art, possibly on fibreboard.

Wall art, possibly on fibreboard.

Kaisa Library, Helsinki University. Jaw-dropping entry foyer with upper floor levels making a perfect sequence of oval shapes to the top of the building.

Jaw-dropping entry foyer with upper floor levels making a perfect sequence of oval shapes to the top of the building.

Kaisa Library, Helsinki University, opened late 2012. Another street entry - reflective glass and brickwork, sinuous shapes.

Kaisa Library, Helsinki University, opened late Another street entry - reflective glass and brickwork, sinuous shapes.

Kaisa Library, Helsinki University, opened late 2012. Entry from street.

Kaisa Library, Helsinki University, opened late Entry from street.

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