There are places that transcend expectations, bring community together and withstand the test of time; Halifax’s new Central Library is one of them.
Located downtown on Spring Garden Road, the new library is being coined as the “city’s living room". The $57.6 million, 129,000-square-foot glass building is an amazing piece of modern architectural design. Well before its grand opening, the library garnered national and international attention from Canadian architecture and design magazine, Azure, and CNN. This new civic landmark is the effort of an international and local partnership with Danish Schmidt Hammer Lassen and local firm Fowler Bauld & Mitchell.
The new library has put Halifax on the international stage for good reason. It is architecturally stunning, environmentally sustainable, and a major development for Halifax. It is a cultural hub that reflects the revitalization of the city's downtown.
More than 10,000 people visited the Halifax Central Library on opening day. Of those, 400 visitors had the honour of cutting the ribbon. The grand opening saw Mayor Mike Savage, Minister Peter McKay and local Councillors and MLAs come together to join the celebration, recognizing support from all three levels of government to bring the library to fruition.
“It’s awesome to see so many people gathered here excited about the new library. It looks beautiful on the outside, and I’m sure it’s just as amazing on the inside. I can’t wait to spend time here next semester,” says Sarita Reyes, a fourth-year international student at Mount Saint Vincent University, “I’m from Guatemala and it’s great to be a part of a community that embraces change and welcomes diversity.”
Inside, the library boasts five storeys of shelves and open space, linked by white stairs and bridges in the atrium. The atrium introduces a wide range of facilities that the library has to offer: a 300-seat theatre, two music studios, study rooms, boardrooms, gaming stations, a 3-D printer and the aroma of local fresh coffee from Pavia Gallery Cafe. The library also dedicates a large space for every book lover from adult literacy classes, to a First Nations reading circle. The entire second floor boasts shelves designed for each age group, ranging from toddlers to young adults.
The new library is opened seven days a week and has something for everyone. “The library is my happy place and I can’t wait to spend many nights in this beautiful and amazing space,” says Megan Elliott, book and travel blogger.
The library is more than the shelves of Dewey-decimal catalogued books that line a large portion of the building. It's about what it represents for the city - a community hub, a successful collaboration and a new place to learn, live and play. The new library is an example of living the Bold Promise – a commitment to new ideas and positive change for a better and bolder Halifax.
Celina Lam is Marketing and Communication Assistant at the Greater Halifax Partnership. She currently is in her final year of the Public Relations Program at Mount Saint Vincent University
You can reach Celina at firstname.lastname@example.org