CBRM needs new central library
The cape Breton Regional Municipality (CBRM) is in urgent need of a new and larger central library.
We don’t need a huge “worldclass” edifice of glass and steel, as in Halifax. A much better model for the CBRM is the new library in Antigonish, which is known as “The People’s Place.” It is built to a human scale and deeply rooted in the culture of its community. Carefully planned with considerable public input, this low-rise building with its welcoming central hearth is a model of environmentally-conscious engineering. It makes use of solar power, geothermal heating and cooling. Waste reduction and recycling are paramount. Skylights and enhanced natural lighting (thanks to high-performance glazing from Cape Breton) are supplemented by LED and lowenergy illumination.
Local building materials are much in evidence: for example, the library tables, fashioned from the bird’s-eye maple indigenous to the Acadian forest, were created by craftspeople from the Antigonish area.
The work of local artists and artisans is everywhere: tapestry, posters, sculpture, murals and charming paintings by members of the l’Arche community. Outdoors, indigenous plants flourish in sustainable landscaping.
“The People’s Place” is welcoming, admirably designed, environmentally efficient – a beautiful expression of and tribute to its community. Why can’t the CBRM have a new central library like that, one drawing on our own resources and skills, our distinctive culture and arts?
What are we waiting for? Margaret Young Sydney