On Feb. 14, the Boise City Council unanimously approved a 12-week contract with a team led by Somerville, Mass.–based Safdie Architects to design a new facility for the Boise Public Library. Under this contract, Safdie Architects will be working with local firm CSHQA to deliver the project, which will involve public participation during the design phase. The new 150,000-square-foot facility, expected to be completed in 2021, will consist of a new library space; a 400-seat event venue; and a new office, an art gallery, and a retail space for the Boise City Department of Arts & History. At this time, the design team is conducting feasibility studies and is weighting all available options, one of which is replacing the library's 1940s building (located on north of the Boise River and west of Capitol Boulevard) with a new structure.

“The City of Boise has a clear vision for how the new Boise Library can be a gateway to the city,” said Moshe Safdie, FAIA, in a press release. “The building program, the public engagement process, and the site itself will be the foundation of a design solution unique to Boise, one that reflects its highest aspirations and values as a community.”

“We were drawn to work with Safdie Architects to realize our vision of Boise’s new library campus,” said mayor Dave Bieter in the same press release. “Their depth of experience designing libraries and cultural gathering spaces around the globe is characterized by a commitment to the public realm. The new main library and cultural space will be a source of pride for generations to come.”

Safdie Architects is also behind the design of the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, the Salt Lake City Public Library, the National Medal of Honor Museum, and Jewel Changi Airport (to be completed in 2019).