Ottawa Central Library site

Diamond Schmitt to design Ottawa library and archive

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

The Ottawa Public Library (OPL) and Library and Archives Canada (LAC) have selected Diamond Schmitt Architects and KWC Architects to design a joint facility to house a new central library and archive. The two firms were selected from a group of five finalists, following a review of 33 submissions from architectural firms from around the world.

Once negotiations are successfully completed and the contract has been given final approval, the design development work for the joint facility, which has a total project budget of $192.9 million, will commence with a public event. Public engagement and consultations will be integrated into the design process, which is expected to begin in early 2019.

“This facility will be a unique, state-of-the-art destination combining the creative services of a public library and the public services of a national library and archives,” said Don Schmitt, principal at Diamond Schmitt, in a press release.

The selected site for the joint facility is the southeastern edge of LeBreton Flats, an evolving area located along the Ottawa River, adjacent to the city’s downtown.

“This prominent location is an important crossroads both from historical and contemporary perspectives which underscores and values the expanding role of public libraries and access to archives this facility will provide,” said Gary McCluskie, principal at Diamond Schmitt.

The OPL and LAC joint facility is expected to open its doors in 2024.

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