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Futuristic Concrete Library Swoops Into Suburban Canada

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It looks a bit like a ship's prow

Libraries have been undergoing a sea change of late (thanks, internet), and are being reconfigured for the way people live now, which involves more digital information than ever before. But despite this seismic shift inside libraries, their collective outsides have remained mostly unchanged, save for a few prominent examples, like Rem Koolhaas's Seattle Public Library or Dutch firm Mecanoo's Library of Birmingham in the U.K.

Now, you can add this ship-like building, by Canadian firm Bing Thom Architects, to that short but illustrious list. Designed for Surrey, a city about 31 miles southeast of Vancouver, this curvaceous concrete library clocks in at 82,000 square feet and includes the requisite stacks, as well as multipurpose rooms for "world languages," children's books, and more. A central skylight illuminates the lobby, while gentle artificial light does the job in more intimately scaled spaces for study.