Inspired by nature, Indigenous communities, and Canadians from coast to coast, the design philosophy behind the new Ottawa Public Library (OPL) and Library and Archives Canada (LAC) joint facility is about coming together as a community for gathering, learning, and discovery. On behalf of the Anishinābe Algonquin Nation, the facility was named Ādisōke, which refers to storytelling in the Anishinābemowin language.

Project Essentials

  • LocationOttawa, ON
  • ClientThe City of Ottawa, Ottawa Public Library, Library and Archives Canada
  • ArchitectDiamond Schmitt Architects and KWC Architects
  • Size216,000 ft² (20,000 m²)
  • BudgetC$192 million
  • Sustainable FeaturesTargets LEED Gold & Net Zero Energy

Ādisōke’s design is inspired by Canada’s history and the natural beauty of Ontario. The 5-storey, 216,000 square foot structure will feature a striking undulating roof that alludes to flow of the nearby Ottawa River, while locally sourced materials such as limestone and timber celebrate Ontario’s natural resources. Tall triple-glazed windows encircle the building to invite large expansive views of the river and Gatineau Hills.

With the help of Federal funding, the facility will achieve significant sustainability targets, including net-zero carbon and LEED Gold certification. The building features sustainable design elements like enhanced daylighting, a green roof with solar panels, and the use of wood as a structural element.

Expected to draw in approximately 1.7 million visitors annually, Ādisōke will not only be a showcase for Canada’s culture, but a community gathering place and an example of the country’s commitment to sustainability. Construction is anticipated to start in 2021 and finish in 2024.