Signalling the end of one chapter and the beginning of another, the Stanley Milner Library will close at the end of the day on December 31 as work on transforming the civic landmark begins. In advance of the flagship library's impending revitalization, Edmontonians were given the opportunity this past weekend to scribble their best wishes and goodbyes on the walls and floors of the venerable institution. When the building reopens in 2020 with a fresh new face designed by Teeple Architects and Tkalcic Bengert, its returning users will be greeted by sustainable and dynamic spaces with a stronger relationship to the fabric of the city.

The existing Stanley Milner Library, image retrieved from Google Street View

Among the new library's promised features are a children's library that is more than three times the size of the existing one, hands-on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) activities, new music and arts spaces, and an indoor play area. The interior of the building will host an expansive and airy atrium which connects its three public floors. The exterior building envelope is pulled outwards to reference key civic moments, while glazing invites passersby to view the activities being undertaken within its walls.

Facade protrusions act as civic gestures, image via Teeple Architects and Tkalcic Bengert

A dedicated space for Canada's indigenous history — with ventilation allowing for smudging ceremonies — will serve to educate and honour First Nations customs. And no modern library is complete without integrating the latest multimedia technologies, including devoted spaces for 3D printing, sound and video production, and robotics. Edmontonians will have to wait a few years for all of this to be available, but in the meantime, library operations will continue to serve the downtown core from Enterprise Square at 10230 Jasper Avenue, with the temporary location opening on January 3. 

The new library is pictured in a snowy rendering, image via Teeple Architects and Tkalcic Bengert

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