Calgary Library - Entro Communications | ArchiPro

Calgary Library

Service: Wayfinding
Architects: Snøhetta / Dialog
Photography: Jason Dziver
Awards: SEGD Merit Award, Graphis Design Annual Silver Award, Chicago Athenaeum Good Design Award

Calgary’s new Central Library is a highly successful civic building, designed to be much more than a collection of books. With public meeting areas, a performance hall, café, a children’s early learning centre, recording studios, a space just for teens and outdoor plazas, it is a true community resource. In keeping with the Calgary Library’s vision “To Inspire All’ there is indeed something for everybody.

Designed by Snøhetta, the building has an open, accessible feel, with large windows, natural wood and a massive skylight – an ‘oculus’ – which resembles a human eye. The architecture takes its inspiration from natural formations like snow drifts and chinook cloud clearings, and the façade’s striking geometric pattern mimics these phenomena.
The signage, which is made of wood and reflects the building’s geometric forms, sends a playful message of welcome - through shape, color and graphics. The program strikes a careful balance as it creates the sense of a unified journey while differentiating between the variety of spaces and resources. This graphics system works in concert with the overall facility brand and architecture in a seamless harmonious manner.

Libraries, where users need to locate a wide range of information and destinations, present a unique opportunity for wayfinding. We used color-coded graphics throughout to identify key destinations and stack ends. We also designed a flexible signage system, built into the shelving, that enables staff to change the messaging as necessary.

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