KITCHENER — The Kitchener Public Library and the city have launched a public art competition for a new branch library to be built in the southwest part of town.
Construction on the 14,000 square foot building is expected to begin next year, with an expected opening in 2024.
The library will be built in the Rosenberg neighborhood, southwest of the Bleams and Fischer-Hallman roads. The building will help anchor a community campus with a park, trails, elementary school and community center all planned.
Established artists or artistic teams with experience creating public art projects have until January 20 to submit entries. An information session led by City staff at the Central Library will be held on November 17 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
The proposals will be examined by a jury; Preference will be given to submissions from artists or groups of Aboriginal, immigrant or other equity deserving individuals.
City staff will conduct a technical review of eligible entries before they are considered by the judging panel.
In the second stage of the process, up to three shortlisted artists will prepare detailed concept drawings or mock-ups for the jury’s review; a final recommendation will be reviewed by the city’s Public Art Task Force, Arts and Culture Advisory Committee and the Kitchener Public Library Board before being presented to City Council for approval .
The winning artist will receive $65,000 for commission. Bids that make it to the second round will each receive $850 to offset the cost of preparing the full proposal.
Possible locations for the chosen commission include a partition in the main programming area and the triangular-shaped main entrance, which could accommodate artwork hanging from the ceiling.
The call for submissions said a work of public art at the new library “will support the creation and provision of an accessible, welcoming and equity-affirming space that can be enjoyed by people of all cultural backgrounds. , ethnicity, class or social disposition”.
The $10.1 million library will include a demonstration kitchen – a first for a library in the region – as well as a recording studio, learning gardens, outdoor programming space and after-hours space office space available for rent.
The designers aim to create a net zero energy efficient building, with solar panels and geothermal technology.
For more information on the art competition, visit the city’s website.