undefinedAscending to the Oculus
Photo credit George Webber

The $245 million, globally recognised space is the latest example of how Canadian libraries are reinventing themselves as integral gathering places for communities.

“When visitors enter in the new Central Library today [1 November, 2018] they’ll find a building that is so much more than a place to borrow books,” says Bill Ptacek, CEO for the Calgary Public Library. “We believe each and every person who walks through the doors will find something to take pride in. While the building is spectacular, it’s what’s inside the walls – the programming, services and cultural experiences – that will attract Calgarians and visitors alike.”

The Library expects to welcome tens of thousands of visitors on its opening weekend and reach two million annual visits by 2020. Along with being home to more than 30 community meeting areas, a Performance Hall, a 75,000-square foot outdoor plaza and greenery, stunning exterior and interior artwork, a 12,000-square foot Children’s Library, dedicated spaces for teens, recording studios, and over 450,000 collection items.

undefinedView of Level 3
Photo credit Neil Zeller

The 240,000-square foot building features unparalleled architecture and design features – both beautiful and functional – including a gorgeous western red wood cedar archway, high ceilings with endless windows and intricate staircases. The central skylight – the Oculus – celebrates Calgary’s famously sunny skies and brings natural light into the building.

The design team behind the impressive structure was led by Calgary Municipal Land Corporation and included the world-renowned team from Snøhetta and DIALOG.

undefinedThe Prow community living room
Photo credit Neil Zeller

Calgary Public Library

Calgary Public Library, with 670,000+ members and 20 locations, has been inspiring the life stories of Calgarians for more than 100 years. It is currently the second largest library system in Canada and the sixth largest municipal library system in North America, with Calgarians borrowing more than 14.6 million physical and digital items and 6.8 million in-person visits last year.