Calgary’s new Central Library garners attention for stunning design and space
By Nathan Woolridge, News Editor and Ricardo-Andres Garcia, Contributor
Construction of Calgary’s long-awaited $245-million downtown library began in May 2014. The new library, located in the East Village, officially opened to the public on Nov.1. The event drew large crowds interested in the innovative features the space has to offer.
Mayor Naheed Nenshi was at the library on opening day to deliver a speech about what the library means to him and Calgarians. “My love of libraries runs deep. Growing up, I was a precocious and super nerdy kid who spent long Saturdays at my neighbourhood library in Forest Lawn,” he wrote on Facebook. “Yesterday, that precocious kid got to stand in front of a crowd as Mayor of Calgary and open the new Central Library. This space will allow generations to come to dream big dreams just like I did.”
The events of opening weekend included “free programming, tours, live music, craft stations and more,” says Calgary Public Library in a release of the events. Canadian astronaut, Chris Hadfield presented later Thursday evening. In a statement, Calgary Public Library says they brought Hadfield in because, “The new Central Library will be a cultural hub for learning and innovation and we couldn’t think of a better person to demonstrate what’s possible when we come together and dream big!”
The library is 240,000 square feet, featuring amazing installations of architecture, art and 450,000 new books and collections, which span over four floors. With bold design features and an outdoor archway crafted from British Columbian red cedar, the spectacular design does not disappoint. Most of the interior is thoughtfully crafted from western hemlock softwood, which is native to the West Coast.
The new library has many features including a, “12,000-square foot children’s library, dedicated spaces for teens, recording studios [and] more than 450,000 collection items.”