A look at the new $192 million library and Library and Archives Canada building at LeBreton Flats
The design for the new super library at LeBreton Flats, which will host the Ottawa Public Library main branch and Library and Archives Canada's headquarters. (Courtesy: Diamond Schmitt Architects)
OTTAWA -- If you’ve been curious as to what Ottawa’s future central library will look like, new artists’ renderings will give you a better idea.
The new building, which will house the Ottawa Public Library main branch and Library and Archives Canada has a finalized design.
The Ottawa Public Library Board reviewed the designs for the $192-million project during a meeting on Tuesday, which is expected to officially open in 2025.
Former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, the Rt. Hon. Beverley McLachlin, is getting behind the project, as the Honourary Chair of the Ottawa Central Library Fundraising Campaign.
"I think it’s an amazing design," McLachlin says.
The facility will be more than just a place to house books.
"It will be a place of gathering, a place of meeting; a place where people can come regardless of their social status or background - it’s an equalizer in that sense. It’s a connector, it will connect people," McLachlin tells CTV News Ottawa during an interview.
"The way in which libraries, public library and in this case the Library and Archives Canada; both of them saw (the) project as an opportunity to really take a step forward in the 21st century," says Gary McCluskie, principal architect with Diamond Schmitt Architects.
The stone and wood exterior reflects the adjacent escarpment, and its shape is reminiscent to the flow of the Ottawa River. The design, having input from residents and First Nations Indigenous communities.
"It’s definitely affected the architecture of the project," says McCluskie, "For example, we have a very specific round room, Wig-Wam iconography very central to that, and in all cases done in consultation with the community."
McCluskie also says the building will be home to Indigenous art throughout the facility.
“This is going to be the centrepiece of the Lebraton Flats redevelopment, and certainly a world-class building,” says Ottawa Library Board chair and Coun. Matthew Luloff.
Luloff says that the facility will also provide exhibition and event spaces, areas for the community to gather.
"This is a people centred building, and I know that it’s difficult to imagine that a year into a pandemic, but this a building to bring people together."