Construction on Vancouver Public Library’s (VPL) much-anticipated vertical expansion at the Central Library branch in downtown Vancouver is nearing completion.
The construction crane at the library’s plaza on corner of West Georgia Street and Homer Street was dismantled in April – a major sign of the project’s progress.
According to VPL spokesperson Marya Gadison, the expansion will open in September, and a precise date will be announced closer to the opening.
This will be a 40,000 sq. ft. indoor and outdoor expansion of the library on two top floors previously used as provincial government offices.
It adds unique publicly accessible outdoor rooftop spaces, with two large outdoor terraces on the north and south and an 8,000 sq. ft. garden where visitors can read a book, work, or use as a quiet retreat.
For the rooftop garden’s, the library contracted locally acclaimed landscape architect Cornelia Oberlander, the original designer of the building’s green roof.
New indoor library spaces on the eighth floor include a large quiet reading room, art and cultural exhibition spaces, and an 80-seat auditorium.
The expansion space will host programmed events such as lectures, workshops, learning events, and community meetings.
Upon opening, the two new levels will complete the original vision of the 400,000 sq. ft. Library Square when it was designed by world-renowned Safdie Architects. It opened in 1995, replacing the previous Central Library branch location at 750 Burrard Street, which is now one of the world’s largest Victoria’s Secret stores.
The top two floors were leased to the provincial government until 2015, and construction on the library expansion began in March 2017. It was originally slated for a spring 2018 opening.
The project’s budget is $15.5 million, with $9 million provided by the municipal government and the remainder from the Vancouver Public Library Foundation.
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