Salt Lake City Library & Common
Salt Lake CIty Library
Salt Lake City Library

The new Central Library is designed to celebrate ideas, creativity and communication as a foundation of social interaction and civic culture. Building and site merge inside, outside, roof and ground in a continuous flow of space and activity. The old library has been recreated as the Leonardo, a museum of science, technology, art and creativity.

Civitas designed the site, plazas, fountains, gardens and rooftop as an accessible, engaging sequence of places for daily use, events, festivals, and performance including the annual Utah Arts Festival. Park and plaza spaces sit atop 800 cars of underground parking with extensive use of lightweight and sustainable construction technologies.

The redevelopment of the site is part of a larger strategy established in a highly public process led by Civitas to create a new civic and cultural spine connecting State Street and City Hall east to Trolley Square. This interior spine has now extended one block east with the construction of a new Public Safety Building (by Civitas and GSBS) to take advantage of the large amount of underused land that sits in the core of each of Salt Lake’s large 10 acre blocks.

Salt Lake is a highly diverse community, as the international center of Mormonism and a global reach to many cultures. Library Square has become a new heart for the community, bringing together people of all origins and walks of life into a secular civic culture and place of free expression, exchange, personal and civic experience.

Client: Salt Lake City Corporation
Collaborators: Moshe Safdie and VCBO Architects
Completed: 2004
Budget: Project $88 Million, Site $5 million