Calgary's new central library to be an icon for the city, says Nenshi

More design details for Calgary's new central library were released today for the building proposed just east of City Hall.

3D animation of library's design released following open house earlier in September

More design details for Calgary's new central library were released today for the building proposed just east of City Hall.

The Calgary Municipal Land Corporation (CMLC), which is overseeing construction projects in the East Village, also released a 3D animation showing a curved, glassy exterior resembling a chinook arch.

There will be a four-storey atrium topped with a large skylight. The design was created by two firms: Snøhetta and DIALOG.

Construction is currently underway to encapsulate a section of the LRT line, which will run under the library.

"The tunnel's an amazing challenge, but we called it a 'proble-tunity,'" said Robert Adamson, one of the architects.

"It's a problem and an opportunity, because (...) we had to develop a curving structure to encapsulate the LRT and then that informed the geometry of the building above."

Adamson says the design strikes a fine balance between function and art.

Calgary's new central library to be built east of city hall has been designed by the architectural firm Snohetta, which has offices in New York and Oslo, and DIALOG, a Canadian firm with locations in Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver and Toronto. (City of Calgary )

$245M library to open in 2018

CMLC says the design details come after two years of public engagement that culminated at a Sept. 4 open house where Calgarians got to see how their input was incorporated into the project.

"At the end of the day, Calgarians are paying for this building and it has to be seen as a responsible use of taxpayers' money," he said. 

"At the same time we can't hold back our interest and our obligation and our requirement to be creative and to make Calgary a better city through the architecture."

The new $245 million library is slated to open in 2018.

"That sounds like a lot of money," Mayor Naheed Nenshi. "It's a lot of money. But it is building many, many things."

He says the library will be a new icon for the city. 

There will also be several art installations within the new complex. CMLC says a call went out to artists and it is now just sorting through more than 200 proposals.


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