Progress at the Stanley A. Milner Library has been moving along slowly but surely during the last two months since we last checked in at the site. Designed by Architecture | Tkalcic Bengert and Teeple Architects, the $85 million retrofit has resulted in the addition of a large, metal-clad extension built onto the hollowed-out frame of the old library, the new structure punctuated here and there by rhomboid bays of dark glass windows.
Though largely rectilinear, the addition features a significant amount of visually striking, crystalline volumes and irregular massing, the retrofit inspiring some to draw comparisons to the ROM Crystal in Toronto. A tad less ambitious, however, the Stanley A. Milner Library retrofit has saved its pennies for what will happen inside, the city's main central branch to become a state of the art facility.
The new and improved library will focus upon community engagement and programming, beginning with the expanded children's library. The new facility will be three times bigger than the original, and will feature a hands-on STEM activity centre, along with various music and art spaces, and an indoor play area. For adults, there will be a tech-heavy Makerspace, equipped with 3D printers, sound and video production stations, a robotics lab, and a multi-storey interactive simulation wall reserved for unique multimedia presentations.
For quiet reading, there will be 4,000 square feet of study space, 1,000 of which will directly overlook Winston Churchill Square. There will also be 2,500 square feet of community meeting space, thereby completing the connection to City Hall and the broader metropolis. This space will be key in attracting patrons to attend special events and to see a range of performers and guest speakers.
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.