Terri Meyer Boake B.E.S. B.Arch. M.Arch.
Associate Professor School of Architecture University of Waterloo

Image Gallery:

Vancouver Public Library

Moshe Safdie and Associates +
Downs Archambault and Partners

Vancouver, British Columbia


About the building:

The new VPL opened in May 1996. It is located in downtown Vancouver at the intersection of Robson and Georgia Streets. PCL Constructors Pacific Limited were the general contractors for the project. The structure itself is a rectangle within an ellipse. The large tower is occupied by the provincial government, as well as the 8th and 9th floors (plus roof garden) of the lower library building. The library building is 35, 150 square meters. The main structure is concrete. The concrete was poured into precast concrete formwork which were ultimately left in place (unlike conventional wood or steel forms). The building colour is from granite quarried in Horsefly, B.C., and crushed granite was used in the making of the precast. Excavation began in 1993. It took 26 months to complete the porject. The cost of the library, retail, daycare and parkade:$106.8 million (Canadian); the cost of the Federal Tower: $50 million (Canadian).

View towards entrance from Georgia Street.
Looking up at Georgia Street entrance towards the 6 storey high atrium end wall and further up the Federal Tower.

Detail alongside Robson Street.
Robson entrance to the library.

Interior of public atrium on a slightly overcast day.
Sun penetration of public atrium late afternoon on a sunny day.
Looking along glazed library wall as it faces the atrium with bridge over to the library entrance.
Looking up through the skylit atrium roof towards the Federal Tower building.
From the 6th floor of the library looking down into the atrium.
Detail of atrium glazing and library wall adjacent.
View out through fully glazed library wall into atrium.
Detail of atrium skylights.
Restricted 6 storey atrium space within the library proper.
Looking up towards the skylights of the interior library atrium.

The images on this site have been taken for use in my teaching. They may be copied for educational purposes. Please give credit. These images may not be reproduced commercially without written consent.

last updated March 8, 2008