Hughes Condon Marler designs new library with emphasis on both social and literary value
The new Jasper Place Library design encompasses the Edmonton Public Library’s aspirations to create a flexible, open and memorable presence in the community. The design satisfies the following aims: a welcoming space that acts as an inclusive designation for all demographics of the community; a distinctive building that announces its unique role in the neighbourhood as a place for public use; and a sustainable building that will fulfill present and future library needs.
With an eye to a potentially bookless future, this iconic 15,000 sq ft library is focused more on social spaces than on books. The ground floor is occupied by staff functions as well as a double-height reading room consisting of book stacks and reading areas. This public area extends above the staff area to a mezzanine level overlooking the central space. Stairs - some of which are designed to double as reading spaces or an amphitheatre - are located at each end of the mezzanine to form a continuous circulation loop for patrons.
This landmark project will generate civic pride, with its distinctive roofscapes and strong profiles set against the prairie sky and surrounding trees. The facility will set the larger Meadowlark Community apart from other communities within Edmonton. From the road, the concrete roof acts as a unifying enclosure and reinforces the continuity of public space. The design takes advantage of the site’s exposure to vehicle and pedestrian traffic and the potential of light rail transit along the adjacent road to the west. For the community, it offers a friendly welcome by using transparency to open its south and west faces to passersby.
Sustainability on all fronts is a central focus. The design seeks to create a memorable space of lasting social value. The functional longevity is strengthened by an open, flexible floor plan that can accommodate future reorganisation and adaptation. The facility is targeting LEED®-Silver certification.