The initial reviews of the design of Ottawa's new central library are in, and they're mostly positive.
Many people who were involved in the public consultations came out to see the plans for the new building — a joint facility involving the Ottawa Public Library and Library and Archives Canada — at an open house Thursday at the Ottawa Gallery.
The $192-million library building will be located at the corner of Albert and Booth Streets at the edge of LeBreton Flats.
It's being designed in tandem by Diamond Schmitt Architects from Toronto and Ottawa's KWC Architects. Diamond Schmitt Architects is the firm that reimagined the National Arts Centre on Elgin Street.
'A magnificent building'
Wanda Kowalski said she felt like the people who attended the meetings coalesced around a few basic principles.
"Give us a library that is human. Give us a library that is egalitarian. Give us a library that has lots of windows so we can see our beautiful city," she said.
"I feel like crying. It's a magnificent building."
Lukas Stodola said the building looks like the result of successful collaboration with the public, adding that he's impressed by the proposed central town hall.
"It's really wide, open concept and it's really high [which] makes it an iconic feature of the building," he said.
A few reservations
Some people did express reservations about the location of the new building — earlier in the process advocates wanted the library to be closer to the existing main branch or more integrated to the LRT station at Pimisi.
"I just hope the walk from the light rail isn't too cold in the winter," Jean Beaudet said.
Beaudet said she's pleased with the design overall and how it integrates with the environment.
"I see the children's space looks good and bright, which is inviting. I love a lot of the textural stuff."
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