Halifax Central Library – it’s time to look inside.

4th Public Meeting - Thursday, September 30, 2010

Thanks to everyone who attended the 4th public meeting. We continue to be impressed with the level of input and interest we receive at these public gatherings.

180 people attended the September 30th meeting at the World Trade and Convention Centre to discuss the interior design for the new Central Library. Architect Morten Schmidt walked guests through the new library floor-by-floor pointing out proposed design features and describing distinct elements and services located within each of the five levels. Participants then discussed what they had seen in round table groups.

Based on what you’ve seen so far, does the Library’s layout work for you?
Here are some general comments and themes that emerged.

Seating and Spaces

“More group study space.”
“Comfortable seating areas with tables for research.”
“Happy with traditional shelving to maximize amount of books.”
“Please make it cozier.”

Computer Access

“All floors – dedicated computer clusters, particularly for adult learners, low income job searchers etc.”
“Make sure there are enough computer/ IT spaces.”
“More computer areas, especially in the adult and young adult sections.”

1st Floor

“Needs focal point such as a fountain to drown out sounds.”
“Need a landmark (besides the tree).”
“More access points on ground floor.”

5th Floor

“Need access to the roof garden.”
“Top floor is BEAUTIFUL. Please keep the architectural detail and make it open to all.”
“Love fifth floor living room concept.”
“Go bold with the cantilevered 5th floor (pulled back option shown tonight looks wrong – too timid!)”
“Halifax Living Room on top floor will be a very special place.”

Acoustics

“Love the fact that we are providing space for young people to congregate and be together. Just worry about how to balance the acoustics for quiet zones.”
“Need for noisy and quiet areas. Design seems very open.”
“Too much noise would travel through the open area to all levels”

General

“Layout mostly works. The sequencing of the floors is logical. Good job so far.”
“For cafes – healthy LOCAL choices please!”
“Overall the design seems to be a correct balance between the library as a repository of knowledge and a community gathering point.”
“I like what I see.”
“I love the designs presented to date. I believe that this library will become a destination for young and old. Layout works for me.”
* There is a definite preference for stairs instead of escalators.

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