Vancouver Library Square

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, 1995

Containing Vancouver’s Central Public Library, a Federal Office Tower and retail and service facilities, Library Square occupies a city block in the eastward expansion of the downtown core of Vancouver. Designed as a public space with a civic identity, Library Square is an open and inviting addition to the heart of Vancouver. Centered on the block, the library is a seven-story rectangular box containing book stacks and services, surrounded by a free-standing elliptical colonnaded wall containing reading and study areas that are accessed by bridges spanning skylit lightwells. The Library’s internal glass façade overlooks an enclosed concourse formed by a second elliptical wall that defines the east side of the site. This generous, glass-roofed concourse serves as an entry foyer to the Library and creates a dialogue between the contemplative spaces of the library and the more lively pedestrian activities at ground level. The arcaded wall of the concourse ascends to a twenty-one-story height to the northeast, forming one face of the Federal Office Tower and creating continuity between the two structures. The public spaces surrounding the library form a continuous piazza with parking located below grade. The building is clad in sandstone-colored precast concrete. The northeast bay of the Office Tower is completely glazed to form a dramatic bay window with views toward the City and the Harbor.

Project Type: Library

Client: City of Vancouver

Cost: C $105 million

Size: 650000


Associate Architect - Downs Archambault & Partners