Winter 2018 PEG

The Watch

LATITUDE

BEAUTY AND THE BOOKS With its sleek, hexagonal exterior rising above an LRT line, Calgary’s new Central Library has a commanding and futuristic presence in the city’s downtown. But you might argue that the most impressive elements of this 240,000-suare-foot structure lie within. Take a look, for example, at the archway made from planks of B.C. western red cedar that greets visitors at the entranceway—before spiraling 85 feet upwards to a sixth-floor skylight. The library offers four floors of learning spaces, 30 meeting rooms, 450,000 new books and other items (including board games and video games), two cafes, and a performance hall for author readings and lectures. The $245-million library opened on time and on budget in early November, allowing Calgarians and others to start using the city’s largest public investment since the 1988 Winter Olympics. Constructed by APEGA permit holder Stuart Olson, the project was designed by the world-renowned architect Craig Dykers of the U.S.-Norway architectural firm Snøhetta, and Calgary architect Rob Adamson of permit holder DIALOG. How gorgeous and utterly awesome is the new library? A Calgary Herald columnist wrote that it’s literally bringing users to tears. “This library is a community centre on steroids. It’s so much more than book storage,” wrote Licia Corbella.

THE WOW FACTOR It’s easy to see why Calgarians love their new Central Library. Experiences like the one depicted here are drawing folks into a new chapter in libraries. -photo by Michael Grimm

34 | PEG WINTER 2018

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