Putting the Pieces Together: The Calgary Central Library in Journal #368

In need of a new book to read? Want to find a place where you know you belong? This library may have what you’re looking for!

Designed and built by world famous architectural firm Snohetta and located in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, the Calgary Central Library welcomes folks from all walks of life with sloping inclines leading from the train station below the building to the heart of the library. The Central Library welcomes all kinds of readers and “signals the beginning of a new chapter” for Calgary, “one centered on the creation and innovation of knowledge and culture.” The inclusion of the train station signifies a blending of urban design with the city’s budding desire to learn. Large glass windows filter in natural light and grant passersby a full, inviting view of the library’s atrium. Every side of the library is designed with the same intricate, interlocking hexagonal pattern, fostering a feeling of community and togetherness within the aisles of the library inside. Since each side of the building’s exterior is identical, the library has no defined “front” and instead invites visitors to enter from every side and angle.

The interior of the building features six tiered floors crafted with the public in mind, starting with the most engaging subjects on the ground floor to the quiet rooms at the top. A children’s section makes its home on the ground floor, engaging children with playful colors and a vast open space for crafts. This floor even features a playground! Large, wooden beams of a light, subtle color stretch through the floors of the library, giving off a minimalistic aesthetic. The “rawness” of this interior gives visitors “the sense that the library is a place of engagement, rather than a sacrosanct repository for books.”

Purchase your own copy of Journal #378 at graphis.com.

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