Governor General's Medals in Architecture — 2016 Recipient

Halifax Central Library
Award Category: 
Governor General’s Medals in Architecture

Fowler Bauld & Mitchell Ltd. / schmidt hammer lassen architects

Lead design architect(s): 

George Cotaras, FRAIC
Morten Schmidt, MAA/ARB/RIBA/AIA

The Halifax Central Library is the most significant public building completed in Halifax in over a generation. It’s the new cultural hub for the region and it has delivered on the promise to be a place for everyone.

The building is composed of three vertically stacked glass volumes that are topped by a monumental glass cantilever that embraces views of the surrounding ocean and landmarks of the Halifax peninsula.

The Halifax Central Library combines the best of a traditional library with new and innovative programs and facilities and it provides free public space in the heart of the city.

Jury Comment(s): 

"This outstanding new civic building is a community gathering place that responds to the diversity of its users, accommodating many more activities than the traditional library. This 21st century facility is topped by the Halifax Living Room: an inviting, light, and playful public space with views across Halifax as far as the harbour. Other spaces provide for learning, reading, exercising, studying, hanging out, and playing. The reception area’s generous atrium with its beautiful stairway is the hub connecting the functions and users. The jury commends the process of early user engagement that led to the design, and the public’s embrace of the building is a testament to its value."

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Photos: Adam Mørk