Snøhetta (Design Architect),
DIALOG (Executive Architect)
Calgary Municipal Land Corporation (CMLC),
Calgary Public Library and the City of Calgary
Structural Engineering Consultant
The New Central Library, located in the vibrant East Village downtown, will be one of Calgary’s most important and distinctive cultural institutions with signature design led by renowned international architecture firm Snøhetta.
The New Central Library will occupy 278,000 ft2, including public space, and 40,000 square feet for future library expansion. The building structure will be built over Calgary’s busiest LRT line which bisects the site and occupies approximately 40% of the site area. The Library’s design will put a strong emphasis on public accessibility and community-oriented spaces with 80% of the building, including collections areas, allocated to public space.
Challenge: Build a new landmark civic building with an anticipated high level of community engagement over an existing, busy LRT line that bisects the site on a radius with minimal disruption to its operation.
Solution: Entuitive developed a transfer system that creates the opportunity for a contiguous floor plate above the LRT line with a regular grid system that maximizes future flexibility. This forms the basis for the Encapsulation – a new concrete structure that clear spans approximately 12 meters across the existing Calgary Transit South East corridor LRT tracks just north of the exiting CP Rail tunnel. It is the first time in Calgary’s history that an active LRT line has been encased to enable an above-grade development project – an achievement which Calgary Municipal Land Corporation (CMLC) refers to as “a real feat of engineering”.
Structural steel plays an important role in executing the design of the building. As a library, the load of the books means the columns of this four-storey building will carry the weight of a building five times its height. Learn more from Senior Associate Ian Washbrook:
Learn more about this project: New Central Library