Building Magazine


Search narrows for Calgary’s new Central Library architectural team

From 38 submissions that arrived in East Village from as far away as Copenhagen and Tokyo, a selection committee has narrowed the field to four contenders to design the new Central Library in East Village.

Those 38 submissions came in response to a Request for Qualification (RFQ) that Calgary Municipal Land Corporation (CMLC) issued in May to identify a Prime Design Consultant — Stage 1 of a two-stage process designed by CMLC, the City of Calgary and the Calgary Public Library.

“Needless to say, we’re delighted by the enthusiastic response,” said Janet Hutchinson, Board Chair, Calgary Public Library. “It validates the importance and relevance of libraries in creating vibrant, thriving and healthy communities. With its prime location one block east of City Hall in the burgeoning urban community of East Village, the new Central Library will serve Calgary’s growing population as the heart and hub of the city’s network of public libraries, as well as local residents and the 120,000+ workers who travel downtown every day.”

After the RFQ closed on June 20, the 38 submissions were shortlisted to eight proponents. Interviews with the shortlisted teams were conducted during the week of July 15, and four teams have moved on to the Request for Proposal stage. They are:

• 3XN and AECOM (Denmark and Calgary)

• KPMB and BKDI (Toronto and Calgary)

• REX and Group2 (New York and Calgary)

• Snohetta and Dialog (Oslo/New York and Calgary)

The four shortlisted teams will have until September 4, 2013, to submit their proposals and the Selection Committee will unveil the successful Prime Design Consultant in October. Construction is expected to begin in summer 2015, and the new Central Library is anticipated to open by 2018.

In conjunction with the RFP to select a Prime Design Consultant, CMLC has also issued RFPs for Below-Grade Utility Relocation Management and Construction Management Services. Successful proponents will work on the new Central Library project with CMLC, in conjunction with the Prime Design Consultant.

Providing approximately 286,000 sq. ft. of usable library space – 54 per cent more than the existing downtown library – the new Central Library will be a multi-faceted public destination and gathering place with a physical collection of approximately 600,000 books, special programs and spaces for children and teens, a technology commons and laboratory for innovation, a centre that supports inclusive community integration and advancement through skills development, and much more.

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