5440 Spring Garden Road
The newly built Halifax Central Library was an ingenious project to create. We need to face it, it is not that easy to integrate new building construction to an old town where constructions of the previous century stand next door. In addition, do libraries have a future with the new available technology? Well, the Central Library project nailed it. The concept is awesome and the results at so many levels speak for themselves and this is why.
First, who would have thought that in the 21st century we would still use a library. Well, the answer is, they have adapted. They have integrated new technologies and new concepts to keep us learning. After all, books are meant for us to learn, imagine, experience and play and the Halifax Central Library is a welcoming place for everyone to access these learning tools.
Second, the exterior design. Surprisingly, with a very unique modern styling, the outcome does not look like it is from another dimension. The floor to ceiling windows reflecting the trees and surrounding buildings make the library integrate to its environment. From the exterior, the five-story construction looks like a pile of books with the highest one positioned at 90 degrees with a large portioned cantilever.
Third, the interior design. High ceilings, clean, criss-crossed stair cases, integrated art work, and spaced stations help find a place in solo, in duo or in a group. Small-medium meeting areas are available and a 300-seat capacity auditorium can also be used. A lab style room and a music, recording studio with instruments is also on site. The building is wheelchair accessible and elevators are available to all.
Fourth, the books. Of course, a library needs to have books. The reason for the new building was the fact that they did not have enough space for books and reading. Each floor addresses different needs.
Fifth, the technologies. Pick-up and drop-off is possible without the intervention of a librarian. Computers are available for work, research or to simply navigate. Free Wi-Fi is accessible to visitors. Video-Game stations are popular spots for teens.
Sixth, the view. On the fifth floor, the one overhanging, you have beautiful views from different angles plus there is a terrace to take a break.
Seventh, games. Are you ready for this one… there is a Lego section on the second floor. Don’t take me there because I could be for hours. There is also a puppet theater and more.
Eight, the history of veterans. The previous library was named Halifax Memorial Library and carried a special significance. While the space was no longer sufficient for years, the memorial aspect was heart breaking. For this element, on the 4th floor of the new library, you can find a special memorial zone dedicated to veterans and in which documents have been moved from the previous building.
Ninth, the cafes. There are two cafes in the building. On the ground level and on the fifth to grab something to eat or enjoy a coffee on the terrace.
Tenth, art works. At the entrance level, there are 5,000 library card size artworks. All different, some 3D, some paintings, some unicolored but all together it is a very beautiful visual effect on a white wall.
Eleventh, the visitors. This is the beauty. It is open to all and you will likely find your favorite spot.
Twelfth, it’s free to access. Nothing more to say.
Finally, the ecology. This is a transparent element of the place to the visitors but the construction incorporated green features. They have received LEED certifications and local flora was integrated to the terrace.
So overall, the 2014 library is a combination of a learning place, a creation place, a museum and a play room.
If you are looking for parking, there is a paying option in the basement of the building.
I have to say, it is a must see place during your visit in Halifax.