Calgary’s new Central Library aims to welcome over twice as many annual visitors to its expanded 240,000 square-foot facilities. Calgary Public Library is one of the most actively used library systems in North America, where more than half of its residents are active cardholders, and accordingly, the new main branch was created for and inspired by its diverse inhabitants.
The Central Library building is sited within a well connected urban thoroughfare, where a fully functional Light Rail Transit Line crosses the site from above and a below ground arch shaped path providing a connection between Downtown Calgary and the developing East Village neighborhood.
A raised access flooring system is used throughout the inside of the library to supply and connect the four main floors with power, data and air. These services are used for a podcast and YouTube production studio, a performance hall, a grand reading room, a children’s library, a digital commons, and 450,000 books to create an interior blending hyper-modern touches with traditional wood at almost every turn.
The raised floor was designed to feature some unique finish applications and customized transition details to allow the architects to balance the exibility of the raised floor with the overall aesthetic goals of the library. As seen in the pictures above two pieces 12”x24” porcelain tile was laminated to each raised floor panel to maintain accessibility. Also shown is an example of how transitions were created to accommodate the radiant heating system that was embedded in a raised concrete slab without cutting the porcelain for a seamless installation from the core to the perimeter of the building.
Along perimeter corridors, the window frames create shifting shadows throughout the day. At night, the exterior appears to disintegrate towards the prow, where the panes become increasingly transparent and the glow from inside gets more intense.
Calgary Central Library encompasses the spirit of culture, learning, and community in Calgary.