Calgary's Central Library just celebrated its second anniversary

Nov 4 2020, 9:54 pm

One of Calgary’s biggest, most beautiful buildings turned two over the weekend.

The new Central Library in East Village has officially been open for two full years as of November 1, providing knowledge and some seriously stunning photo ops to the people of Calgary.

The building quickly became one of the city’s most iconic locations shortly after opening, landing itself in a number of top architecture lists around the world.

To celebrate two years of operation, we decided to take a look back at some of the library’s greatest moments… so far.

Opening weekend

Mayor Naheed Nenshi spoke at the opening celebration — which included appearances by astronaut Chris Hadfield and musicians Tegan and Sara — and lines were seen down the block to gain access on opening weekend.

A total of 50,000 visitors had made their way through the building’s doors by the time opening weekend was done, and in the year that would follow, another 1.7 million visitors would enter Central Library, according to statistics shared with Daily Hive from Calgary Public Libraries.

New York Times

The New York Times placed Calgary’s Central Library on two best-of lists: An article featuring the “world’s newest and most creative libraries,” and another detailing 2019’s 100 greatest places.

BBC’s Top Contemporary Libraries

The BBC added Central Library to their list of top contemporary libraries in March, joining it to the ranks of Oodi Central Library in Helsinki, Finland; the Chicago Public Library; Copenhagen’s Tingberg Library; the Tūranga Christchurch Central Library in New Zealand; Hanoi, Vietnam’s VAC Library; Biblioteca Sur in Lima, Peru; Dandaji Library in Western Niger; and China’s Tianjin Library.

Lifetime attendance

The Central Library has now seen a total of 2.3 million visitors in the two years it has been operating, registering 100,000 new members to the city’s public library program.

Leed Gold Certification

Most recently, the library received its Leed Gold Certification just in time for its second birthday.

“Central Library represents the evolution of libraries as vibrant and inclusive community hubs, and I think Calgarians have embraced the building because it also speaks to the future of Calgary and all the potential our city has,” said Mark Asberg, CEO for Calgary Public Library, in the release.

“Being recognized as a LEED Gold project reflects the hard work of the project team and Calgary’s commitment to thoughtful city planning.”

LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, and it is the most used green building designation system in the world, states the release.

Some of the building’s sustainable features include efficiency upgrades creating 26% energy cost savings, 79% of construction waste materials being diverted from landfills, secure bicycle storage, heat mitigation through design, and reduced water use by storing stormwater.

Chandler WalterChandler Walter

+ News