New Central Library one of Architectural Digest’s ‘libraries of the future’

Calgary’s new Central Library has been lauded for its unique design and innovative features by Architectural Digest for the second time.

Back in December of 2017, the publication called the new Central Library one of the most anticipated buildings of 2018.

And now that the library has been open for a little over a month, Architectural Digest is once again singing the building’s praises as one of the “libraries of the future.”

Other innovative libraries on the list included the Helsinki Central Library in Helsinki, Finland, and the Qatar National Library in Doha, Qatar.

The library was designed by Calgary-based architects DIALOG and Swedish designers Snøhetta, and digest applauded the firms for incorporating “design-forward” features — like an interlocking hexagonal façade, and an entryway inspired by Alberta’s Chinook arches — in the building’s design.

The 250,000-square-foot, four-storey structure’s interior features an open concept which is inviting for guests, while a blue and white “curtain wall” exterior made of 460 glass panels is meant to reflect the light and colour of Calgary’s skyline.

Sunrise over the new Central Library in Calgary, on Tuesday October 30, 2018. Leah Hennel/Postmedia

At the northwest corner, the building’s prow — or the portion of a ship’s bow over water — juts over the mouth of a tunnel encasing the north-south LRT line, making the site challenging but also a force behind the unique design.

Before the library’s grand opening in November, Rob Adamson with DIALOG told Postmedia the design team worked to create a building that would serve Calgarians “for generations to come.”

Snøhetta’s Craig Dykers told the digest “the city has opened a new door into a future” with the library “that banks on a culture of creativity and innovation.”

Related

A library card gives you access to more than 500,000 items available to Calgarians at the new Central Library, but there are also many non-traditional features at the new location, including video-editing suites, recording booths and video game stations.

There’s even an impressive collection of board games, and the library’s teen centre has a modern yet futuristic feel to draw in both bookworms and tech-minded youths.

Planning for the new Central Library began in 2004 when council committed $40 million to the project.

Council committed an additional $135 million to the library from Calgary’s Community Investment Fund in 2011, followed by a Calgary Municipal Land Corporation contribution of $70 million for a total project cost of $245 million

RRumbolt@postmedia.com

On Twitter: @RCRumbolt

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