All images courtesy of MIR and Snøhetta.
Following a lengthy competition process, the design for Calgary’s New Central Library has been unveiled, as conceived by the collaborative team of Snøhetta and local practice DIALOG. Selected by the Calgary Municipal Land Corporation, the scheme delivers on the community’s desires, ‘for a technologically advanced public space for innovation, research, and collaboration.’ Located between the city’s downtown area and east village, the project spans over an existing light rail transit line running through the site, resulting in an elevated building volume with wide staircases on either side.
The structure is identified by its visually porous curving façades, which are articulated by a composition of tessellated and arching geometries. The building mass is carved away at the ground level, allowing for an outdoor link between either side of the site as well as a covered and wide entry area. This wood-clad underbelly contrasts the white panelization on the exterior elevations, and references the ‘chinook’ arch cloud formations common to the Alberta Province.
The facility’s layout is arranged around a high and skylit atrium adjacent to the building’s main entry. The program is organized as a vertical spectrum, with more-public functions in taller spaces on the lower levels, while more-private areas are placed on upper floors for quiet and focused reading and research. The building’s façade is composed of a patchwork of clear, frit, and opaque panels, in relation to daylighting needs of interior spaces.
The calgary new central library is expected to open in 2018, with work having already begun on the structure to span over the existing light rail transit line.