Identity and Access: The Capital Library
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As a capital city, Ottawa is a national and international icon. On one hand, its inhabitants are players in a larger spectacle of national identity. On the other hand, they still have the requirements of an everyday life, which is the foundation of civic identity. This thesis explores this paradox in Ottawa through the design of a public building. It proposes to site the new Capital Library in Ottawa in the midst of an underused space in the Parliamentary Precinct, where the civic vitality of the downtown core meets the institutional zone. The siting has both clear political and urban agendas, and the program has a clear cultural agenda. The execution of the building uses an architectural language to promote participation, provide waterfront access, reveal a vista, cap an important axis and strengthen the quality of life in our capital city.