12/13/2014 10:56 EST | Updated 02/12/2015 05:59 EST

New $57 million Halifax library officially opens doors to the public

HALIFAX - The new Halifax Central Library officially opened its doors to the public today.

At an estimated cost of $57.6 million the building has been touted as the new architectural centrepiece of the city's downtown core.

The 129,00 square foot facility features a larger collection of books than the building it is replacing, as well as meeting and study rooms, technology areas for computers, cafes and a 300-seat auditorium.

Halifax Mayor Mike Savage calls the building, which features a cantilevered rectangular glass box on the top, a "powerful and positive statement" about the city's aspirations.

Danish architectural firm Schmidt Hammer Lassen designed the building with Halifax partners Fowler Bauld & Mitchell.

The federal government is contributing up to $18.3 million and the Nova Scotia government $13 million towards the cost of the project, with the remainder being funded through the municipality and a public funding campaign.