The Capilano Library in Edmonton has been awarded with a 2020 AIA/ALA Library Building Award for excellence in architectural design. It was one of four libraries selected by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and the American Library Association (ALA).
Designed by Patkau Architects, the library draws inspiration from a ravine tucked away in the foliage of its site. The building’s 12,000-square-foot program is organized into three parallel zones oriented along the site’s north-south axis.
The building is capped with a continuous folded wood roof that runs the entirety of the library’s 250 feet, its peaks corresponding to each zone below. The roof’s upper and lower planes are optimized for daylight, acoustics, and structure and present a captivating profile at both ends of the library. To complement the site’s deciduous backdrop, the library is wrapped in black aluminum and natural wood.
The new Capilano Library represents a significant upgrade from its old home and places the library in the heart of the community. The branch’s new ground floor location features the ravine as a backdrop and will serve more than 198,000 visitors annually.
The other three 2020 AIA/ALA Library Building Awards recipients:
- Billie Jean King Main Library, Long Beach, California | Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP
- Independence Library and Apartments, Chicago | John Ronan Architects
- Northtown Branch Library and Apartments, Chicago | Perkins + Will
The AIA/ALA Library Building Award is the only award that recognizes entire library structures and all aspects of their design.
2020 AIA/ALA Library Building Award recipients must demonstrate design achievement, including a sense of place, purpose, ecology, environmental sustainability, and of history. This year’s AIA/ALA Library Building Award recipients, selected by a six-person jury, exemplify these qualities.