Online critics poke fun at Canada 'warship' library

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Courtesy EPL

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Edmonton’s Milner Library pictured in May 2018

A brand new library in the Canadian city of Edmonton has raised eyebrows over its redesign.

The building – still in the midst of its revitalisation – is being compared to a tank, a battleship, even a deceptive dating profile picture.

The criticism is centered over its current form compared to some original architectural renderings.

“How did we get from A to B? Embarrassing. It’s so ugly,” said one Twitter user.

The Stanley A Milner Library in the city’s downtown core was built in 1967.

It was closed in 2016 for its C$85m ($65m; £52m) revitalisation, which is scheduled to be complete for a grand opening on 14 February 2020.

It’s being billed as a “bright, new and welcoming space” more than three times the size of the previous facility.

The Edmonton Public Library is urging critics to wait until they see the building’s final form when it opens in six months. It also noted that there had been some tweaks to the original design during construction.

Mayor Don Iveson also told residents to suspend final judgment until construction is over, noting to journalists that “criticism is a summer sport here in Edmonton”.

But on social media people complained about the “shipping container exterior” and wondering why it looks like “looks like a land-locked ship converted to a library”.

Not everyone gave the building a thumbs down.

“I might be of the unpopular opinion, but I like it. It looks badass and it suits our beautiful and unique downtown,” said one Twitter user.

Another said: “Don’t judge a book by its cover. And don’t judge an unfinished building by its cladding.”

Others pointed out that residents were lucky to “to live in a city that loves libraries” regardless of what the building looks like.

The Edmonton Public Library responded to critics online with a single tweet.