Sometimes one building can make all the difference in a city. The new Halifax Central Library designed by Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects and local firm Fowler Bauld & Mitchell has just opened in Canada. Its simple massing, formed by four box-shaped volumes placed on top of one another, create new axes within the orthogonal city grid. Combining traditional library design with innovative programs, the resulting structure provides an inspiring space for residents to meet and learn.
The library, comprising four slightly tilted volumes, reflects the historical axis between the Halifax Citadel and the city harbor. It references the city’s maritime heritage and aims to regenerate the downtown area. Thanks to its diverse programs, the building functions as a cultural hub.
The interior features a large atrium space filled with stairs and walkways connecting five stories. This area leads to a 300-seat performance space, two cafes, music studios, reading rooms and boardrooms for local entrepreneurs. Kids and young adults can use the second floor, organized according to different age groups.
Adaptability and an innovative approach to programming are the main trademarks of the building. The library design encourages interaction and collaboration by functioning as a free public space.
Photos by Adam Mørk