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George Cotaras Helps Select Architectural Design Team for New Ottawa Central Library and Library Archives Canada

George Cotaras, President of FBM Architects | Interior Design, recently participated as a member of the selection committee responsible for choosing the architectural design team for the development of the new Ottawa Central Library and Library Archives Canada Joint Facility.


The membership of the selection committee, comprised of senior library personnel, the City of Ottawa’s Project Manager, and one other architect from Manitoba, was kept confidential and followed a rigorous and strict procurement process that lasted over 18 months. Cotaras was a subject matter expert on the committee, bringing his experience as an architect and the person responsible for the delivery of Halifax Central Library project.


“The Project in itself is a massive undertaking with an impact that goes far beyond the city of Ottawa,” said Cotaras. “Those assembling the selection committee were aware that I was involved with the design of the Halifax Central Library, and how the design of the resulting facility and the unique community consultation process to achieve it made the Halifax library such a success. Ottawa has similar aspirations and it was felt my expertise and experience would help ensure the same level of success for their project.”


Cotaras made several trips to Ottawa for group evaluations and consensus meetings with the committee, taking part in the review of the initial Request for Qualifications (RFQ) submissions from 33 of the best architects in the world.


After evaluating and scoring these submissions, the field was then narrowed down to a short list with finalists submitting full proposals and attending interviews. Ultimately, Diamond Schmitt Architects from Toronto with KWC Architects of Ottawa were named in December 2018 as the preferred proponent.


“The request for my participation on the selection committee allowed me to fully appreciate that Halifax has absolutely set the standard for excellence with the design and execution of our own Central Library,” said Cotaras. “This was an incredibly rewarding experience. It will be exciting to watch this project unfold, to see a uniquely contemporary facility be established that unites the community-focused feel of a central library while providing the public services of a national library and archives.”


The total project budget is $192.9 million and is set to be open to the public in 2024.