My past few posts reflect some of my travel experiences, so let’s bring it a little closer to home. Come with me for a walk through the (relatively) brand spanking new Halifax Central Library – Opened December 2014.
In a city settled in 1749, and which celebrates it’s history, change does not come easy.
So, when it became apparent that the existing library building no longer met the city’s needs, a series of public meetings and consultations followed by proposed designs and more public meetings, wringing of hands and fretting ensued. In the end though, we have this stunning piece of architecture in the heart of our old city.
Designed to resemble a stack of books, the outstanding feature is the 5th floor cantilever over the entrance plaza.
Inside, many public and private spaces are created around the central atrium and its criss-crossing staircases.
The roof-top terrace offers a broad view of the Halifax Harbour, the historic South End and the Downtown (CBD). Inside, all that glass provides an appealing interaction between the urban neighbourhood and the cosy spaces within. There are small meeting pods, living room-like spaces, an auditorium, community rooms, an enormous children’s section, banks of computer games as well as…….lots and lots of books!!
And coffee! Gotta have coffee!
The reference section keeps safe and available the documents which record the history, of which we are so proud.
There are information “booths” on all floors…..
…. And the sparkling main circulation desk is backed by an interesting art installation. Each of those wee pieces of art on the wall behind the desk is an individual painting. And each is exactly the size of the card that librarians keep in the pocket of a library book. Lovely, don’t you think?
The Central Library has been an architectural success, garnering many awards, including the “World Building of the Year Award in the Civic and Community Category” in 2015 at the World Architcture Festival in Singapore. But even better than that, with 6,000 visitors per day in a city of 414,000 souls (298,000 in the urban core) Haligonians and visitors alike have embraced this place – making truely the “city’s living room”, just as the designers proposed.
Thanks for walking with me. Now I’d better get reading before my books are due back…….
These photos were taken with my iPhone just last month (Feb. 2016).