Who said that libraries were irrelevant in this digital age? Not the submitters in this competition.
Since May, the Calgary Municipal Land Corporation (CMLC) in Alberta, Canada has been on the search for the architectural team to create a compelling design for the new Central Public Library in East Village. CMLC, the City of Calgary, and the Calgary Public Library held an open Request for Qualification as Stage One of a two-stage process to ultimately select the Prime Design Consultant. After the June 20 deadline, the competition yielded 38 eager submissions from around the globe. Interviews with the shortlisted teams were conducted during the week of July 15 before selecting the finalists.
On August 1, CMLC announced the following four shortlisted firms—some who already have high-profile status—that will advance to Stage Two, Request for Proposal:
The four shortlisted teams have until Sept. 4, 2013 to propose the winning design for the Central Public Library. The Prime Design Consultant will be announced in October. Construction for the library is planned to begin in 2015 and is expected to open in 2018.
As stated in the official press release, all 38 submissions from the Request for Qualification showed a competitive spirit for the chance to become the Central Library's Prime Design Consultant.
"'Needless to say, we’re delighted by the enthusiastic response,” said Janet Hutchinson, Board Chair, Calgary Public Library. “It validates the importance and relevance of libraries in creating vibrant, thriving and healthy communities. With its prime location one block east of City Hall in the burgeoning urban community of East Village, the new Central Library will serve Calgary’s growing population as the heart and hub of the city’s network of public libraries, as well as local residents and the 120,000+ workers who travel downtown every day.'
...To zero in on the best candidate for the exciting challenge of designing the new Central Library, CMLC’s two-stage procurement strategy is being shepherded by a Selection Committee comprising members of Calgary Public Library, City of Calgary, Project Management consultant – MHPM, CMLC and an independent architectural consultant, Ian Chodikoff (former editor of Canadian Architect Magazine)."
"Following the announcement of the successful proponent, the public will be re-engaged to witness how the design components of the new central library program align with the described community needs and uses...Providing approximately 286,000 sq ft of usable library space – 54% more than the existing downtown library – the new Central Library will be a multi-faceted public destination and gathering place with a physical collection of approximately 600,000 books, special programs and spaces for children and teens, a technology commons and laboratory for innovation, a center that supports inclusive community integration and advancement through skills development, and much more."
Check back soon as images of the finalists' proposals become available.