Jasper Place Library
This open and inviting community living room welcomes all demographics with its memorable, flexible spaces. Parents and tots play in the children’s area, students and seniors surf the internet and various groups use the Community Room both during and after library hours. All are filled with a sense of civic pride for their neighbourhood library, a much-loved, and needed, indoor public space.
This project is a joint venture between HCMA Architecture + Design and DUB Architects.
This place blows the socks off of people’s old impressions of libraries.
Linda Sloan, Edmonton City Councillor
“What is a library with no books?” This was the unique scenario presented to the design team when replacing a crowded branch library located on the same site. Tasked with creating a library to serve as the civic heart of a suburban community, the design also needed to respond to the reality that print materials could be made obsolete in an increasingly technological world.
While books may not completely disappear from our libraries, it is clear that the size and nature of the collections they house is changing and that within the life span of this building the needs of the collection will be very different than they are today.
The Edmonton Public Library sought to create a new social heart within an older suburban neighbourhood welcome to all demographics. The new, flexible building needed to respond to the dramatic changes taking place within libraries in order to meet the growing and evolving needs of their community.
While twice the size to the library it replaced, the number of items in the collection has reduced. This highlights the change in focus from the requirements of the collection to maximizing the potential for social space. To respond to these changing needs, we focused on maximizing the library’s social potential. The needs of the social spaces were given priority in the planning with the collections being used to define and enhance the social spaces.
Jasper Place points to a new definition of the public library as a social focus for the community it serves. The overall result is an open, inviting, memorable and much needed public space that provides a strong civic presence in a neighbourhood that has lacked one for too long.
World Architecture Festival
Shortlist - Culture Category 2013
Edmonton Urban Design Awards - Award of Merit 2014
Prairie Design Awards, Merit 2014
In Edmonton libraries are functioning like community centres, they’re places that people can come, can bring their children, can bring their parents, can bring themselves to sit and to work together in wonderful spaces, to be able to enjoy the ambience of their neighbourhoods. This is a very special place.
Stephen Mandel, Mayor of Edmonton