A new public library planned for Calgary will feature a series of staggered terraces that rise up and over an existing Light Rail Transit Line running through the site.   

The competition-winning design was conceived by Canadian architecture firm DIALOG and Norway's Snøhetta, who spent two years collecting feedback from the local community before submitting their final proposal.

The building is inspired by the city’s foothill landscape and references the ‘chinook’ arch cloud formations, common to the Alberta province, in its timber-clad entrance.

The elevated structure is carved away at ground level to create a tunnel for the Light Rail and covered pedestrian passage from one side of the site to the other.

Clear, fritted and opaque glass panels have been tessellated to form a unique geometric façade that provides varying degrees of privacy and sunlight penetration for different parts of the interior spaces.

The 22,000-square-metre facility is arranged in a vertical spiral around a large light-filled atrium, with public areas located in the open and busy lower levels and more-private study spaces positioned on the quieter upper floors.

The Calgary New Central Library development is being led by Calgary Municipal Land Corporation and is expected to open in 2018.

Courtesy Inhabitat