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Storey-telling: Central Gathering Space

Architectural rendering of a well-lit central gathering space at Ādisōke, filled with natural light from clerestory windows in the ceiling. where many people are socializing with friends, relaxing, and reading.

A Central Gathering Place Full of Possibilities

Have you ever visited a majestic new building or public space for the first time and thought there was so much to see, you didn’t know where to look? That’s how you might feel when you enter the atrium of Ādisōke, the new Ottawa Public Library – Library and Archives Canada joint facility, as a world of possibilities opens right before your eyes!

Ādisōke, which means ‘storytelling’ in Anishinābemowin Algonquin language, will captivate you from the moment you step inside. Chances are you won’t just be passing through in a hurry to pick up some books.  You’ll want to admire the atrium’s grand design, from the brightly coloured furniture to the wooden balustrades and banisters, both inspired by the Anishinābe Algonquin Nation’s passion for warmth. You’ll also want to take some time to admire the public art, watch the comings and goings of visitors, or perhaps just sip on a leisurely coffee.

As soon as you step through one of the three entrances to this facility, the view is breathtaking. You’ll look up and admire not only the abundance of natural light, but also people passing through or reading a book, kids playing in the children’s area, and a green wall that stretches from the first floor to the fifth floor. And for a completely different perspective on these attractions, all you have to do is climb a few flights of stairs and your view will be transformed.

Whether you’re seated in one of the atrium’s comfortable armchairs, or wandering around this large space, you’ll want to take some time to observe everything the facility has to offer. You might ask yourself: “Do I want to immerse myself in history by visiting Library and Archives Canada, or should I head for Ottawa Public Library to see what they have to offer? Or maybe I just want to take a stroll to enjoy the atmosphere.”

Despite its vastness, the atrium will present a world of contrasts. With some 5,000 visitors expected every day, this lively stage will act as both a gathering place and an oasis of intimacy for a moment spent alone or with friends.

The possibilities are endless in a place that alternates between tranquility and liveliness. It can offer the kind of environment that appeals to the solitary reader, but it can also come alive, through a public market, a book fair, a jazz show or simply a visit from a group of students or tourists passing through the area.

This atrium will most certainly become a place where people with different life experiences cross paths long enough to choose their own adventure within Ādisōke!

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