Calgary New Central Library / by Bradley Till

 Photo Credit: @DIALOG

Photo Credit: @DIALOG

Project Update

As of November 1st, 2018, the Calgary New Central Library officially opened to the public. On opening day, hundreds of Calgarians lined up down the street for the first look at the architectural masterpiece. During the grand opening ceremony, Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi said “It is because of the work of so many people that we are here in this magnificent space today,”. This could not be more true as the project was completed on time and $10 million under budget.

We would like to personally congratulate DIALOG, Snohetta Architects, the architects Rob Adamson and Craig Dykers, and the hundreds of workers involved on an extremely successful project.

Within minutes of the Library opening to the public, Twitter was flooded with positive reviews:

It's difficult to capture the scale and beauty of the new Central Library. Lots of public spaces and quiet places!
- Lane Fraser (@CTVLaneFraser)

A massive lineup to get into a library. A library. Well done, Calgary.
- Cheri Macaulay (@cheriyyc)

Simply... wow. #HelloCentral
- Neil Zeller (@Neil_Zee)

"...soon to be the most photographed building in Calgary"
- Tourism Calgary (@TourismCalgary)

Honestly, I can’t stop swooning over every single architectural detail in this place. @calgarylibrary 
- Kait Kucy (@kaitkucy)

I toured the New Central Library today + was in absolute awe of the architecture, rooms, programs, features and more […]
- Irene Seto (@HeySeto)

Check out this video CMLC posted in August of DIALOG’s Principal, Rob Adamson, and Snohetta’s Founding Partner, Craig Dykers, reflecting on the project and looking forward to the grand opening.

Recent Tweets


Project Background

Planning for the New Central Library (NCL) began in 2004, when Calgary City Council committed $40 million to the project. In 2011, council committed an additional $135 million from Calgary’s Community Investment Fund toward the NCL. CMLC then contributed $70 million from the Community Revitalization Levy (CRL) to top up funding for the total project cost of $245 million.  It was designed by a Snohetta, an international architecture firm with offices in Oslo and New York, with the help of Canadian firm DIALOG.        

  Photo Credit: Dezeen

Photo Credit: Dezeen

Since construction began in 2014 with the LRT encapsulation, work on the NCL has progressed well, and the building – which promises to be one of the world’s most dynamic and inspired public libraries – is set to open to Calgarians in November 2018. A space for people to think, dream, explore and become, the New Central Library’s vision is “To Inspire All.”

The Exterior

The library's modern design will leave a lasting impression on new generations for years to come. With 100,000 sq. ft. of ALPOLIC's FR material with the White Prismatic Paint finish installed by Ferguson Glass, the external design of the building is said to represent a warm and inviting Chinook weather system. Internally, the hexagonal windows allow mesmerizing beams of natural light into the library for visitors to enjoy.

Photo Credit: Calgary Public Library (left), The Globe and Mail (right)

The Interior

Providing approximately 240,000 sq. ft. of usable library space – 66% more than the existing downtown library – the NCL will be home to a physical collection of approximately 600,000 books, special programs and spaces for children and teens, a technology commons and laboratory for innovation, a centre that supports community integration and advancement through skills development, and much more.

For its New Central Library, the City of Calgary chose a prime location: one block east of City Hall in the burgeoning cultural hotspot of East Village. The site provides a key destination and link that will draw Calgarians from downtown through City Hall to the NCL and East Village.

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