The Edmonton Public Library (EPL) has officially opened the $84.5-million revitalized Stanley A. Milner Library.
The 180,000 sq.ft. downtown library was closed in late 2016 to undergo a major renovation, including removal of the existing library facade and installation of new cladding and curtainwall system. The project also involved mechanical and electrical upgrades. Clark Builders was the general contractor for the Milner Library.
The design for the renewal, by Teeple Architects and Stantec, was conceived to reimagine and reshape the existing library building as a physical expression of EPL’s forward-thinking values and civic role. The renewed building actively supports the library’s position as a key social and creative hub, enhances EPL’s goals of openness and welcoming in the community, and takes advantage of the building’s prominent location in Edmonton’s city centre.
“We are proud and happy to have been involved with the Edmonton Public Library in the transformation of this building and look forward to the Edmonton community embracing it as an exciting and vibrant library in the city’s downtown core. We hope the public find it to be a place that is open and welcoming, where there is always something new to discover, and offers a compelling read,” says design principal Stephen Teeple.
A key feature of the renewed building is the multi-storey interior atrium which creates a variety of inspiring spaces, intuitive and accessible circulation paths, and improved sightlines with dynamic views between areas.
The updated interiors also provide much needed 21st century library amenities including large galleria spaces, a café, a multi-functional children’s library, a large makerspace, teaching kitchen, meeting spaces, and EPL’s main administrative offices. As an important part of EPL’s commitment to reconciliation, an Indigenous gathering space was designed in consultation with local Cree elders and communities to form the spiritual heart of the building. Additional upgrades include a high-performance envelope and new building systems that will significantly improve energy performance.
“We know Edmontonians are extremely eager to see what we’ve been working on for the past three years,” said Pilar Martinez, CEO of EPL. “While there have been some mixed reactions on the exterior of our building, we’re extremely proud of our revitalized library and all that we’ve accomplished inside and out. We can’t wait for everyone to experience it for themselves.”