News / Edmonton

Meet the new Stanley Milner library

New renderings of Edmonton's flagship library unveiled

An architectural rendering of what the new Stanley Milner library will look like after renovations are completed in 2020.

Supplied

An architectural rendering of what the new Stanley Milner library will look like after renovations are completed in 2020.

Sleek new renderings of the Stanley Milner library released Thursday show a different future for Edmonton’s downtown library.

The current library is set to start scaling back services in early November before shutting down at the end of the year and decamping to a spot in Enterprise Square until 2020 — when the new building will be unveiled.

We talked to architect Stephen Teeple, of Teeple Architects Inc, who parted with Tkalcic Bengert on the design, about what we can look forward to.

Q: What do these renderings show?

These new renderings show a complete design… a sustainable building envelope, and an exciting interior with a dynamic atrium that interconnects all three public floors of the library. There is a natural flow between inside and outside that leads up a new reading ramp [and] a new civic room overlooking the city.

Q: What was the intent of the design?

The general intent of the design is to connect the library to the city, to stretch the ‘skin’ off of the building, bringing you out toward important civic moments. Large areas of glazing at these key moments emphasize these visual connections, and open up views into library activities.

Q: What will it do for downtown?

The building will now begin to animate the public spaces around it, bringing more life and activity to these streets and spaces like Centennial Plaza through greater connectivity.

The new library design is much more about community building and features more space where people can interact.

Supplied

The new library design is much more about community building and features more space where people can interact.

Library to move to a new location temporarily

Metro also talked to the Milner library's executive director of strategy and innovation, Tina Thomas, about what this new design means for Edmonton Public’s flagship library.

Q: What are you most looking forward to?

It is such an iconic, beautiful structure in the heart of downtown. Particularly for the library there are these great, big windows. There are so many great vantage points looking into the library, but also looking out.

Q: What was the thought behind the design, from the library’s perspective?

The current building is 50 years old and it was designed at a time when there were different thoughts about what you needed for a library. The floors are very separated from each other, there isn’t a lot of light coming in. It’s very different from this open, airy creation that we’re looking at now.

And while I’m so happy the new building is going to look great, this is also going to be a place where people will want to come and spend time. We did a lot of public consultation and people weren’t looking for ways to have a better transactional experience, they were looking for ways to enhance their experience because they expected to be here for a while. More light, better seating, more things to do.

Q: How will your services change?

It gives us so much more flexibility in the services that we can offer.

We’re taking a lot of the great services we offer already and making them bigger, like a fabulous children’s library and making it bigger, it’s going from 4,000 square feet to over 13,000 square feet.

We’ll have space that’s purposely built to reflect and honour indigenous history, that’s also ventilated to allow for smudge ceremonies. We’ve got great program rooms looking out onto Churchill Square, and it could be community groups having meetings and hosting events.

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