Internationally known architect selected to design new Boise library

Posted at 10:41 PM, Mar 01, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-02 14:28:16-05

After years of tossing around the idea of a new library, the City of Boise is making moves. 

“We know we are at capacity when it come to collection size. We know there are some things we need to do to enlarge meeting room space and gathering spaces, and all of our consultants we have talked to have said you need an expansion or a new facility,” explained Kevin Booe, Boise Library Director.

Earlier this month, the Boise City Council approved a contract with Safdie Architects, the name behind buildings like the Kauffman Center For The Performing Arts in Kansas City to come up with a concept for a brand new library in downtown Boise.

“We felt like that would give us the best opportunity to do something different in the downtown core, but also do something inspirational for the citizens of Boise,” said Booe. 

The building will be sited on the same land as the existing building, but it will likely be double in size, and will include a public events space, and the Boise Arts and History Department.

"I think people are going to want to come to something brand new that’s striking in appearance,” said Booe.

Although it’s too early to tell exactly what the new library will look like, they have given the architects some input as to what the public would like to see in the design concepts.

“The public, the stakeholders, we are really interested in something that interfaces with the river, but also something that interfaces with the foothills,” said Booe. We heard over and over again more meeting room spaces, more public gathering spaces, but also a way that the building and the public inside the building can interact with the outside."

If it continues as planned, the library is set to be completed sometime in late 2021. Once they get some of the designs complete, they will be holding public input sessions.