Vancouver Public Library, Vancouver

4.5 out of 5 stars 4.5 Stars - 14 Reviews

350 W Georgia Street (604) 331-3603

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  • Vancouver Public Library
    by GentleSpirit
  • View near the entrance of the Public Library
    View near the entrance of the Public...
    by Ann75
  • On the inside where the littl shops are
    On the inside where the littl shops are
    by Ann75
  • Ann75's Profile Photo

    Roman Colosseum or Public Library?

    by Ann75 Written Apr 24, 2012

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    View of the exterior of the Public Library
    4 more images

    As you wander downtown you may come across this beautiful modern looking arena in the middle of the city. If that's the case, you just bumped into the Vancouver Public Library. This building opened 1195 and the winning design is by team Moshe Safdie and Downs/Archambault. The nine-story oval library is designed to look like the original Colosseum in Rome. A 22-story federal tower curves around one corner. The library has 35,100 sq meters for books, online catalogues, a computer labs, children's library and more. There is a gift shop, sushi bar and a shop-lined concourse.

    This building is just beautiful to see for it's architecture and just to walk around here. There are some small shops and coffee shops inside, so you can just sit and relax to take it all in. So, if you have the time it's definitely worth to have a look at this wonderful building.

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  • GentleSpirit's Profile Photo

    Vancouver Public Library

    by GentleSpirit Written Nov 21, 2011

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Completed in 1995 at a cost of 100 million this elegant building was inspired by the Colosseum in Rome. Because of the circular shape of the building and the large windows, it is beautifully lit inside.

    It was designed my Moshe Safdie. It incorporates the public library, office building, retail space and underground parking and takes up an entire block of downtown Vancouver.

    Innovative and elegant design and a very pleasant place to walk through and relax.

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  • joanj's Profile Photo

    Impressive Library photo # 1

    by joanj Updated Apr 4, 2011
    Vancouver Public Library

    This is the most impressive Public Library I have ever seen. It is modelled on the Roman Colloseum, and having been to the original, yes the resemb lance is there.

    The library covers a whole city block between Georgia and Robson, and Hamilton and Homer Streets.

    It was designed by Moshe Safdie, and is definitely worth seeing.

    On the mezzanine level, you will also find indoor sidewalk bistros, gift, flower and card shops.

    I took quite a few photographs of the library to show the different angles, they are on more things to see pages.

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  • Jefie's Profile Photo

    Vancouver's most interesting piece of architecture

    by Jefie Written Jan 20, 2008

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Detail of the Central Library's architecture
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    The Vancouver Public Library's Central Library building was completed in 1995, following the design of Moshe Safdie (of Montreal Habitat 67 fame). The Central Library's unusual round architecture gives it the look of a Roman Colosseum and allows for a large indoor walkway that sort of goes around the main building and where you'll find some coffee shops and other small stores. Total cost for the construction: over 100 million dollars, or roughly $1 per book. Of course, if you're only visiting Vancouver you probably won't want to check out a book, but the library does offer free Internet access and it's just worth checking it out because of its unique design.

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  • Carmanah's Profile Photo

    The Vancouver Public Library

    by Carmanah Updated Sep 24, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The exterior of the Vancouver Public Library
    4 more images

    While the Vancouver Public Library might not sound like the most exciting place to visit, in this city of often bland and uninspiring architecture, the Vancouver Public Library's central branch is actually quite a visually stunning building and is definitely worth a visit! You have to experience this library at least once, because this isn't your typical public library, and it's one of the most famous buildings architecturally in the city.

    The Vancouver Public Library's Central Branch was designed by world-famous architect Moshe Safdie and opened in 1995, giving downtown Vancouver some bright, modern, yet classically themed architecture. Some draw initial comparisons of the library's collonaded elliptical shape to the famous Roman Collesium. Safdie claimed that Vancouver was a city of glass and therefor he needed to "anchor the downtown" with a building more solid than the typical Vancouver glass structures.

    The library is 7 stories high, with each floor dedicated to a different them. For example, the first floor is entirely children's books. The second floor is popular fiction. My favourite floor is the 6th floor, because it's where you can find travel books, art books, and hundreds of CD's and videos. Another thing to note about this library is that if you don't want to spend a dimeat the local internet caf├ęs, the Vancouer Public Library is a fantastic place to take advantage of free internet.

    I always say that the library is worth checking out just for the view and the atmosphere, even if you have no interest in taking out books. Just walk through the entrance door into the outer promenade (a glass covered walkway), and explore the little shops and cafes, and you'll soon understand why so many people enjoy it. It's a public space that feels like you're a part of an ancient tradition of socializing and learning. Architecturally, it definitely stands out as a crucial aspect of Vancouver's postmodern identity.

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  • stodmyk's Profile Photo

    It's Architecture Madness!

    by stodmyk Written Mar 6, 2005
    The view from Robson Street.
    2 more images

    Okay, so everyone else recommends the Vancouver Public Library be given a look-see. In this case, it's not a tourist trap; the attention is probably deserved in this case.

    Vancouver is constantly lauded for its architecture -- me, I don't see the charm. But the VPL, well, that's a different story. Modeled after the Roman Colisseum, it's just plain gorgeous.

    And hey, if you get bored of looking at all the pretty curved lines and earthquake-proof glass, just think of all the books!

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  • orke's Profile Photo

    really beautifull building

    by orke Written Oct 24, 2004

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    we really liked this building (but we dont even have 1 pic of it......:-(

    just in the middle of the street , with all kind of tall modern buildings u see this building that looks like nothing around it

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  • tylercdurden2004's Profile Photo

    Read a Book

    by tylercdurden2004 Written Apr 22, 2004
    Romanesque Vancouver Library

    This building is cool. Its based on roman architecture and provides and cool conversation peice considering the buildings next to it (especially the post office, ugly). This building caused lots of debate when it was being built but I am glad they did cause it adds a uniqueness to Vancouver.

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  • carstenj's Profile Photo

    Vancouver Public Library

    by carstenj Written Aug 24, 2002

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    I had no idea when I got there, that the library would impress me but I like surprises (mostly). The library is one of the best examples I've seen anywhere of succesful modern architecture. Superb building from a layman's perspective.

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  • cinthya_in_victoria's Profile Photo

    Vancouver Public Library

    by cinthya_in_victoria Written Jan 4, 2008

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    1 more image

    For me, this library is an architectural wonder! Even if it looks like the Coluseum. There are guided tours.

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  • globetrotter_2006's Profile Photo

    Vancouver Public Library

    by globetrotter_2006 Written Feb 23, 2006

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    2 more images

    This controversial building by Moshe Safdie has been said to be a Roman Coliseum inspiration, but he has denied the fact. I truly enjoyed the building, and it's dead quiet inside.

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  • joanj's Profile Photo

    Vancouver Library photo #4

    by joanj Written Jul 16, 2005
    Vancouver Public Library

    Again this is another view of the library from the other side of the main picture i.e. #1.

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  • katpanou's Profile Photo

    The Public Library, a gathering place

    by katpanou Written Oct 1, 2004
    can that be the light of wisdom?

    One of the most interesting architectural buildings I saw was built to host Vancouver's Public Library.

    Without doubt it is worth a visit, only just to see how lively a library can be.

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  • duanestorey's Profile Photo

    Vancouver Public Library

    by duanestorey Written Apr 12, 2003

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Protestors in front of the library, Apr 12, 2003

    The Vancouver Public Library is located near Cambie Street downtown. Inside you're find books, periodicals, and coffee shops.

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