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The Halifax Central Library

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Halifax, NS

City of Halifax

EllisDon

Schmidt Hammer Lassen + Fowler Bauld & Mitchell

This striking library has garnered international attention since it opened its doors back in 2014. The building is a five-storey structure and approximately 120,000 sq. ft. and features a fifth-floor cantilever over the entrance plaza, a central atrium criss-crossed by staircases, a 300-seat performance space, music studios, a First Nations Circle, rainwater collection and a vegetated green roof. In 2014, it was featured as one of CNN’s Top Ten “Eye-Popping” new buildings of 2014 and won the Governor’s Design Award in Architecture, followed by a Governor General's Medal in Architecture in 2016. Its sustainable design includes floor-to-ceiling glass panels on the north and south façades to admit diffuse daylight into reading spaces and facilitate passive solar heating benefits for the building. The double-glazed windows achieve exceptional thermal resistance and the customized frit pattern of falling leaves on the glass façade serve as both a sun shading solution and homage to the gardens that were once located on the site.