OTTAWA — Following a two-phase procurement process for professional design services, proponents Diamond Schmitt Architects — KWC Architects were selected to work with the public and partners to design the Ottawa Central Library and Archives.
The total project budget is $192.9 million. The facility site, located at the corner of Albert and Commissioner streets at the southeastern edge of LeBreton Flats, was formerly 557 Wellington St. and has now been changed to 555 Albert St. It is expected to open in 2024.
After reviewing 33 submissions from architectural firms from around the world and narrowing it down to a shortlist of five finalists, the evaluation committee for the new joint facility shared by the Ottawa Public Library (OPL) and Library and Archives Canada (LAC) recommended entering into negotiations with the consortium of Diamond Schmitt Architects and KWC Architects, from Toronto and Ottawa, respectively. The process was overseen by an external fairness commissioner.
Subject to successful negotiations and final approval of the contract, the design development work for the major civic building will kick off with a public event, states a release.
Public engagement and consultations will be integrated into the design process, which is expected to begin in early 2019.
The collaboration will provide OPL and LAC with a unique, state-of-the-art facility that brings together the creative services of a public library and the public services of a national library and archives for a richer customer experience, adds the release.
“We are thrilled to see such a qualified preferred proponent with expertise in creating inspirational designs be selected through this competitive process,” said Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson in a statement.
“With Library and Archives Canada as our partner, Ottawa’s new central library will become an iconic, world-class cultural and architectural destination that offers a unique experience for residents and visitors to the nation’s capital.”