New Main Library Campus

The Library Campus Project


Boise’s Library Campus will serve as a gateway to the city, but also a gateway to our history, to new experiences, and to the ideas that shape our future. Its spaces and services, located in the heart of Boise’s Cultural District, will be available to anyone, yet distinct to our corner of the world.


Built as a warehouse in 1946, the Main Library can no longer meet the needs of Boise’s growing population or keep pace with the ever-evolving programming, technology and services of a modern-day library. Despite the addition of five branch locations, over the past five years, the Main Library has seen a 12% visitor increase and program attendance has grown by 42%. At the same time, located in City Hall, and without immediate public access, the Department of Arts & History lacks space for the Boise City Archives, care and conservation of the city’s public art collection, and cultural programming and community-based workshops.

While the need for a new Main Library has been a topic of discussion for over two decades, a series of feasibility studies and community visioning sessions conducted over the past several years have catalyzed this project in earnest.

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The Architects

Design Lead: Safdie Architects

Safdie Architects is an architecture and urban design studio imbued with a spirit of idealism and innovation. The practice is research-oriented and forward thinking, drawing upon a depth of experience to solve contemporary building challenges in imaginative and unexpected ways.

Safdie Architects is active in a wide variety of project types, scales and sectors, designing museums, cultural centers, libraries, housing, mixed-use developments, transportation centers and master plans in geographically and culturally-diverse places. The studio’s projects around the world have become beloved resources and symbols of their communities as well as regional and national landmarks. Recent library and civic projects include the Salt Lake City Public Library, the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts in Kansas City, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas, and Vancouver Library Square.

Headshot of Moshe Safdie
Moshe Safdie
Brick and white building with sign that reads CSHQA

Executive Architect: CSHQA

CSHQA is passionate about sustainable, energy-efficient design and creating healthy, enduring spaces for people in which to live, work and play. CSHQA are people who listen, creating design that speaks.

The award-winning design firm specializes in full-service architecture and engineering, interior and environmental design, landscape architecture, telecommunications, and building forensic services. Nearly 100 professionals design civic, education, multi-family, commercial, retail, hospitality, aviation and healthcare projects. Serving clients in all 50 states, CSHQA has offices in Boise, Denver, and Sacramento.

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