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Renderings of Calgary’s new central branch revealed

Calg libThe Norwegian design firm Snøhetta revealed renderings for Calgary’s new Central Library and a surrounding “library plaza” last week, and from the looks of it, the new branch will be as visually stunning as it is progressively designed. Snøhetta is working in conjunction with Calgary architecture firm Dialog towards a 2018 completion date.

While plans are still being finalized, preliminary designs have the library set up with iPads instead of a reception desk, and librarians in uniforms roaming the space – leading Fast Company to call it “the Apple store of libraries.” Snøhetta project designer Vanessa Kassabian tells Fast Company the library may also exclude the “ugly” theft detectors commonly situated at library exits.

One of the most striking features is that the building will wrap around the existing LRT track, with trains running through a tunnel in the main floor. Snøhetta says the designs were inspired by the region’s nearby foothills, and the interior woodclad arches mimic the chinook cloud formations common in Alberta.

Take a look at the renderings on Snøhetta’s website.