Revamped Stanley A. Milner Library opens in Edmonton

Designed by Teeple Architects with Stantec, the renewed Stanley A. Milner Library in the heart of downtown Edmonton celebrated its grand opening on Thursday, September 17. The celebration was held virtually, and the library was open to timed visits during the following weekend.

The renewal is a reimagination and reshaping of an existing library building, to create a physical expression of Edmonton Public Library’s civic role.

Andrew Latreille, Latreille Architectural Photography

The renewed building actively supports the library’s position as a key social and creative hub, enhances the Edmonton Public Library’s goals of openness and welcoming in the community, and takes advantage of the building’s location in Edmonton’s city centre.

The library originally opened in 1967 as Edmonton’s Centennial Library, however, many aspects of the building had reached the end of their life-cycles. Its dark and inward-looking spaces, small windows and dense floorplate no longer reflected or effectively supported a modern library service model.

Andrew Latreille, Latreille Architectural Photography
Andrew Latreille, Latreille Architectural Photography

The architectural team  of Teeple Architects + Stantec used the key technical goals of the project—including replacement of the building’s deteriorating envelope, seismic upgrades, and a comprehensive interior renovation—as an opportunity to establish improved connections to public spaces and transit, a dynamic outward-looking form, and a reimagined interior spatial organization.

Andrew Latreille, Latreille Architectural Photography

The building’s multi-storey interior atrium creates a variety of inspiring spaces, intuitive and accessible circulation paths, and improved sightlines with dynamic views between areas. The updated interiors also provides 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.

The library is currently open to the public, but with a maximum capacity of 260 people during COVID-19 restrictions. Visitors are required to wear masks at all times while visiting the library.