Saturday, 2 April 2016

Halifax Central Library

While I'm stuck at home with a child recovering from a tonsillectomy (and quickly overdosing on Barney), I can't actually go out and take photos, so I'll just have to rehash photos from the last year or two. And.... I haven't done a post of my Halifax Central Library photos yet....

Surprisingly, I didn't really document the library's construction all along, which I might have done if I had been more involved in the project - I was supposed to design the Civil and Municipal infrastructure for the building, but we reassigned personnel in the office to better handle the workload we had at the time, and I ended up looking after a different project. So the first photos that I am presenting here show the building mostly complete, but missing some glass panels that were presumably damaged.

Thought the envelope was nearing completion in October 2013, with the exception of some glass panels, it would be more than a year later in 2014 that the library actually opened to the public. 
Workers sealing the joints between the glass panels.
A number of glass envelopes on new buildings in the city recently have provided for interesting photos with the reflections of workers.
Even as the library neared completion, the contractor kept the safety fence up around the building's exterior, which interfered with photography. I was forced to find angles that didn't show the fencing.

Looking at at the south-west corner of the library.

Looking straight up at the north-west corner of the Library. The tree is the same as the one in the next photo.

I elevated this April 2014 view from the north-west corner just high enough to cut out the fence.
In September 2014, I think the fence was still up, and I was still having to keep it out of my photos. In contrast to April, though, the tree had its leaves. As an aside, another possibly interesting comparison involves the gear used in the two photos: the photo above water taken with a full frame DSLR with  a 16-35 wide angle zoom, while the photo below was taken with a 12mm prime lens (18mm equivalent) on an APS-C mirrorless camera. Both photos were taken from approximately the same location, though the angle on the building looks to be a bit different between the two (on the other hand, I may have applied some more lens correction on the above photo).

Still having to elevate the viewing angle to eliminate the fence, this photo was taken in September 2014.
By November 2014, the fencing was fortunately gone. Remembrance Day in 2014 was quite grey, and I ended up converting the following photos to black & white.

Looking north along the west side of the building. The tree has lost its leaves again.
A different angle on the south west corner of the building. High contrast black & white seemed to work well that day.
Finally, in December 2014, the library opened to the public. This next batch of photos is from my first visit on December 29, 2014. Again, I was in the mood to convert to black & white, and the library seems to suit that medium anyway.

Information desk at the main entrance.

Taken from the second floor looking down on the main entrance.
Second floor view again.

Looking down on the south end of the main floor, outside Paul O'Regan Hall.

This view looks up a bit, taking in the upper levels.

I was not the first person to compare the crazy multi-directional staircases and catwalks to something from a Harry Potter movie, and I doubt I will be the last. I think I made a comment presenting the library's interior " all its Harry Potteresque madness..." or something along those lines. Hopefully that, at least, was somewhat original.

With the library open, the interior lights help to liven up the exterior photos as well as the interior.

Over the last two winters (especially 2015), there were a number of opportunities to photograph the library in the snow. There were a number of snow storms during my walk down to the ferry when I was able to stick a small mirrorless camera with a 32mm prime lens into a ziplock bag for weather protection, and get some good shots of Halifax in the snow. The library, fortunately, is on my route to the ferry.

The snow banks were getting particularly high during the winter of 2015. Some of the storms coated the trees nicely.
As an aside, one of the better initiatives taken around the corner of Queen Street and Spring Garden Road, is the removal of overhead power lines so they don't interfere with the view. Except for the odd transmission line installation in the mountains, I hate overhead powerlines and their effect on my photos. 
I look forward to continuing to photograph the library over the coming years. 

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