The staff of Esquimalt’s new town square library will welcome the community inside a space completely unrecognizable from their old branch come Thursday morning.
Situated between city hall and the fire station in Esquimalt Town Square, the new 10,000 square-foot location is characterized by its towering ceilings, exposed timber frame structure, white walls, and vast windows.
Unlike a traditional library, the walls are lined largely with windows rather than books. The books are organized instead on mobile bookshelves, which can be adapted to create new layouts or moved out of the way entirely for event space.
“This library symbolizes a kind of step to the future,” architect Franc D’Ambrosio said. His team at D’Ambrosio Architecture and Design worked with Aragon Properties to design the entire town square. Throughout their planning process, D’Ambrosio said they always imagined the library as the core of it.
“The library is a nexus of the community and civic functions,” D’Ambrosio said. Expansive windows at each end of the structure are intended to create a sense of transparency and fluidity between the different areas of the town square.
Mayor Barb Desjardin said it’s important to her that people of all ages feel comfortable using the space.
“It’s the living room of the community. This is the place that people come to relax,” she said.
Within that living room, there are light-filled reading nooks, teen and children’s areas, public computers, bookable study spaces, a program space, and a digital media lab.
The community can check it out for themselves beginning at 10 a.m. Thursday (March 31).
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