Diamond Schmitt design joint library and archives building for Ottawa

The location at a cultural crossroads of a route that traces the three founding peoples – French, English and Indigenous – underscores the spirit of confluence in the building’s design.
– Donald Schmitt

Diamond Schmitt Architects, working with KWC Architects, have designed a joint facility for Ottawa Public Library and Library and Archives Canada (OPL-LAC) aimed at creating an inspiring place for gathering, learning and discovery.

The CAD$193m (US$146m, €132m, £111m) building is scheduled to open in 2024, will cover 216,000sq ft (20,000sq m) and be split across five floors.

It will house shared resources for the organisations including exhibitions and collections space, reading rooms, a creative centre, a children’s area, a genealogy centre and a café.

Public consultation helped to shape the concept for the facility to be an accessible and iconic destination, be a place to spend time, take advantage of the surrounding views, provide a connection to nature, integrate a variety of offerings and provide a mix of quiet and vibrant spaces.

The design draws upon Ottawa’s history and natural beauty, with an undulating form that is reminiscent of the Ottawa River and a stone and wood exterior, and visitors will have views of the river and the Gatineau Hills in Quebec.

"The location at a cultural crossroads of a route that traces the three founding peoples – French, English and Indigenous – underscores the spirit of confluence in the building’s design and the possibilities for these memory institutions in a modern facility to advance the Canadian story," said Donald Schmitt, principal of Diamond Schmitt Architects.

Diamond Schmitt  KWC Architects  Ottawa  Canada  library 
Diamond Schmitt Architects, working with KWC Architects, have designed a joint facility for Ottawa Public Library and Library and Archives Canada (OPL-LAC) aimed at creating an inspiring place for gathering, learning and discovery. The CAD$193m (US$146m, €132m, £111m) building is scheduled to open in 2024, will cover 216,000sq ft (20,000sq m) and be split across five floors. It will house shared resources for the organisations including exhibitions and collections space,
CLD,AAC,ARC,DES
The CAD$193m (US$146m, €132m, £111m) facility is scheduled to open in 2024 / Diamond Schmitt
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Company profile: Robert D. Henry Architects + Interiors
Robert D Henry Architects (RDH-Architects) was founded in 1990 in New York City by Bob Henry, known as the “sensuous architect of serenity.”
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