In April of 2013, I climbed a ladder, poked my head through a big metal hatch, and crawled up onto the rooftop garden at the Vancouver Public Library’s Central Branch.
Alongside a small group of local media, we stood among the grass and geese as Chief Librarian Sandra Singh outlined a visionary plan to create a rooftop space for the public. A 28,000 square foot ‘garden in the sky’ serving as the perfect stage for their strategic plan announcement that includes intentions to expand community spaces, create dynamic collaboration zones, and offer high-tech creation spaces for hundreds of thousands of cardholders. Today, that vision came to fruition.
Rooftop Garden at the Vancouver Public Library
Crowds gathered at the official opening of Vancouver Public Library’s (“VPL”) central expansion this morning, taking in the exciting new spaces and rooftop views for the first time since the Central Library opened in 1995. Initially leased to the provincial government, the top two floors of the iconic Central Library building have been transformed into vibrant community spaces.
Rather than featuring traditional collections, the expansion offers meeting rooms, a glass enclosed reading room, an 80 person theatre, exhibition space featuring morph, an exploration of change, as well as a long awaited public rooftop garden and outdoor terraces.
“We are absolutely thrilled to open these new spaces at Central Library, and thank everyone who helped us achieve today’s exciting milestone,” says Christina de Castell, chief librarian. “With more than 5,000 visitors a day to this location, we know our community needs more spaces to collaborate, create, and connect. Vancouver Public Library plays an important role in Vancouver’s future, and we are grateful to our funding partners including the City of Vancouver, the Government of Canada, and our valued private donors who have made this expansion possible, enabling us to meet the growing needs of our diverse community.”
— urbanYVR (@urbanYVR) September 29, 2018
The expansion adds almost 4,000 square metres (42,000 ft2) of new interior space, as well as an additional 1,560 square metres (approximately 16,800 ft2) of outdoor space. Follow the VPL on Facebook and Twitter for more info and photos.