There’s an incredible sense of serenity in Library Square, where the central branch of Vancouver Public Library is located. Natural light pours through the glass-roofed concourse, leading visitors towards study rooms, huge book collections and office space. It’s all been inspired by Rome’s Colosseum, library buildings and shops encased in an old-world glamour.
Vancouver Public Library has 22 branches across the city, but it’s the central branch that entices visitors. The facade demands to be photographed, as its Roman-designed stone curves brought into the 21st century glass-fronted bridges that connect different sides of the complex. Among the facilities are meeting rooms, free Wi-Fi and public computers, plus borrowing from the library’s extensive collection of books, magazines and DVDs. Note that some services can only be accessed by residents of Vancouver while there are various meeting rooms and facilities that can be used for a fee.
Library Square fills an entire city block, between Georgia, Robson, Hamilton and Homer streets. Three Skytrain stations are within a ten-minute walk, Granville, City Centre and Stadium. There is extensive underground parking available and free bike racks at both the North and South entrance. Sunset can be a great time to visit, with the golden light reflecting off the facade and illuminating the pedestrian piazza.
Opened in 1995, Library Square was the largest state-funded building project in the history of Vancouver. Rising above the library is a 21-floor office tower that helped to balance the costs, while the library entrance is surrounded by an assortment of high-end shops and restaurants.