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Vancouver Public Library

The third stop with our guide Craig.
When you walk down Robson Street, you will see the Vancouver Public Library appear on your left when you reach Homer Street. For a moment you will think that you have arrived at the Colosseum in Rome. But it is indeed the Vancouver library opened in 1995.
The architects Moshe Safdie, Richard Archambault and Barry Downs won the design competition for the Vancouver Public Library (VPL) in 1993.
“The library is a rectangular box surrounded by a free-standing, elliptical, colonnaded wall featuring reading and study areas that are accessed by bridges tension skylit light wells. The libraries internal glass facade overlooks an enclosed concourse formed by a second elliptical wall. ” (Wikipedia).

The building is loved and admired by many, but there is also much criticism.
For example, in the book Vancouver: Representing the Postmodern City. the Architectural critic Trevor Boddy replied to the question: What does a Colosseum and a public library have in common ?: “shameless populism”
Relatively little is spoken in architecture about plagiarism. With strongly resembling designs one will often talk about "mutual admiration and inspiring one another”.
Thus Moshe Safdie will also have defended the resemblance of the library with the Colosseum.
Yet, with such a strong similarity, there is a case to be said for the statement that the inspiration from the 2000-year-old building is a lack of a personal, original fantasy.

That does not alter the fact that the VPL is an asset to the city and certainly is a contemporary, functional building with an interior that you will enjoy visiting to soak up some culture.

■ Picture 1: ◄ Vancouver Library Colosseum ►


■ Picture 2: ◄ The Entrance ►


■ Picture 3: ◄ The Central Hall ►

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Additional Photos by Rob Zwemmer (alvaraalto) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5337 W: 324 N: 9834] (38574)
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