The engagements enabled the library and architects to be highly responsive to public input through the design process. This has contributed to the enormous sense of ownership that Haligonians feel. Here’s a video of a newscast around the opening so you can get a sense of the vibe. There were some great conditions in place to support it happening. Here’s a few that I can name right off the bat:
There were some great conditions in place to support it happening. Here’s a few that I can name right off the bat:
The CEO of the libraries and her staff got it straight away. Judy Hare immediately saw the potential of the engagement and how it could enhance the building. Beyond Judy the overall culture of the Halifax libraries was to be responsive to public input – this culture was the foundation of a good engagement. The client was hungry to integrate public input and create a building rooted real needs and desires of citizens. It’s not always like that!
The architect firms went with it. Morten Schmidt from Hammer Schimdt and Larsen said at the end of the engagement that for the first time in career of doing public buildings: ”the public became my client”. I think at first both he and George Cotaras at Fowler Bauld and Mitchel were a little worried by what I was suggesting but once they saw we could get feedback that actually helped them design a better building to meet the needs of the user – they jumped right in. It was very refreshing to work with top architectural and design individuals – the best for the project was clearly in the middle of decisions.
I am incredibly proud of my role in the design and development of this building. I hope it continues to set the bar for public engagement and architectural design for the city of Halifax.