Architects wanted: City sets preliminary timelines for Ottawa’s new central library – Ottawa

Architects interested in building Ottawa’s long-anticipated new central library, get those resumés ready.

notice of planned procurement posted Friday on online tender site MERX sets out the timelines for a “two-stage competitive process” to build the $168-million flagship branch on the eastern edge of LeBreton Flats.

According to the notice, the city is looking for a design team that’s completed a project of “similar size, scope and complexity” to what’s been proposed for the so-called “super library”: a 216,000 square-foot facility that the Ottawa Public Library would share with Library and Archives Canada.

City council gave the go-ahead last month to build the library on the municipally owned land at 557 Wellington St. after three years of studies, reports and consultations.

More than half of the library’s space would go to the city branch.

While the city is looking for a firm with serious credentials, the notice isn’t requiring experience building either a library or an archive.

“Other relevant project experience could include buildings of national, provincial, institutional or civic importance such as cultural institutions, performing arts centres or museums,” the notice says.

The city’s preliminary schedule would see a request for qualifications issued in the second quarter of 2017, which would lead to a short list of acceptable firms.

A request for proposals would follow in the third quarter of 2017. The “ideal team” would also be able to manage and conduct public consultations, the notice says.

Critics have said the future library’s site on the eastern edge of LeBreton Flats (left) will be less centrally located than the city’s current main branch (right). (Joanne Chianello/CBC, Trevor Pritchard/CBC)

Although the federal government hasn’t approved the partnership yet, the plan has been for the library’s groundbreaking to be held in mid-2018, construction to begin in 2020, and an opening date in 2022.

There have…

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