As part of the City of Vancouver’s Digital Strategy released last year, the Vancouver Public Library is re-imagining what a library ought to be in the connected world of today. A priority is the development of a new space within its Downtown Central Branch with creative design coming from RATIO. This space (approximately 6000 sf) will house a digital media workspace, dubbed the Inspiration Lab. The area is envisioned as a hub where people can create, learn, interact and collaborate through technological tools and resources. What makes this space different is the introduction of creative activities into a traditional library setting. Imagine a space with graphic, audio and multimedia tools that encourage creativity. Imagine a flexible and collaborative workspace as opposed to banks of library work desks and enclosed meeting spaces. Imagine vibrant and dynamic space that can be used in a multitude of ways, for various events and circumstances.
Catherine Evans, former chair of the library’s board has said, “Our city is changing, technology is changing, and how people interact with information is changing. VPL is embracing these changes – we’re expanding our commitment to being an accessible public resource for all the city’s communities. We’re re-imagining the concept of the public library and how VPL contributes to Vancouver.”
RATIO is leading the creative design for this innovative and exciting project. The VPL’s Inspiration Lab concept has received client approval; design documentation is being completed, with fundraising for construction underway. RATIO, in consultation with Library staff, has helped to define and refine the new Inspiration Lab project while maintaining a cohesive link to the existing library architecture.
We’ll be updating the Inspiration Lab project progress here with images and news.