Two months since we last checked out the Stanley A. Milner Library, and it would appear we are long overdue for another browse through the latest photos of the site to have been catalogued on our Forum. At a reported $85 million dollars, the library revamp currently underway at Winston Churchill Square has the potential to bring an exciting energy to downtown, the structure's angular massing and corrugated metal facade to do for Edmonton what the ROM Crystal has done for Toronto.
Herein lays the rub, however, as reviews for the library's STEM-inspired facade has been what can only be generously labelled as "mixed." For some, the corrugated metal facade has been applauded for its aspirational qualities more than what appears to be the final result, while others have been more forthcoming with their concerns for what will essentially become a monumental piece of architecture at the heart of the city.
While it is far too early to pass final judgement on the facade, which to be fair does appear to be heading in a somewhat industrial-chic direction, the bigger question may be why, as this is a library and thus primarily a place for reading books and studying, were the windows not made a tad larger? While bibliophiles will be quick to point out the damaging effects of sunlight on rare tomes, it is likely equally accurate to suggest that the shelves of the public library will be filled more with Children's Books, Young Adult, Fantasy, and Adult Fiction, than Gutenberg Press First Editions.
Whatever one's take on Edmonton's newest library, it can be safely said that the final product will bring a dramatic new look to Winston Churchill Square, the addition of a 6,500 square-foot community, meeting, performance, and study space, to be of benefit to visitors of all ages.
SkyriseEdmonton will be sure to return to this project as progress continues. For more information, check out the associated Database file and Forum thread, and as always, feel free to join the conversation in the comments section below.