Canadian architecture firm DIALOG and Norway's Snøhetta joined forces to win an international design competition for Calgary’s New Central Library. Inspired by the site’s topology, their design rises up from ground level and overarches the existing Light Rail Transit Line, allowing visual and pedestrian connections between East Village and Calgary’s downtown area.
Calgary’s New Central Library features an entry with wood-clad arches inspired by ‘chinook’ winds predominant in the West of North America. The building takes its cue from the landscape and transforms the site into a terraced topography. The structure rises over the Light Rail Transit Line crossing the site and has a lifted library space.
Bathed in natural light, the library features a sky lit atrium that provides visibility in the most public zones. More engaging public programs are accommodated on the ground floor and the program then spirals up to provide quieter atmospheres. The façade utilizes a unique geometry and distribution of clear and fritted glass openings to control desired daylight levels for the interior spaces. Dramatic, highly transparent zones attract public interest to activities inside, while closed areas provide more focused study spaces.