The design of the new Calder Branch was based on the vision of the Edmonton Public Library (EPL), which is to be “the gathering place for people and ideas, enabling a lifetime of learning, engagement and possibility for every Edmontonian.” In order to achieve that vision, the Calder community needed more space to gather, learn and explore ideas. The Calder Branch relocated so it could grow from its previous 5,300 sq. ft space to its new 10,000 sq. ft., stand-alone space.

Project Essentials

  • LocationEdmonton, AB
  • ClientEdmonton Public Library
  • ArchitectMBAC
  • Size10,000 ft2

The challenge in the design was to provide a structural solution that would accommodate the required large open spaces and the irregularly shaped building layout.  Additionally, any exposed structure was to have a slender profile in order to integrate best with the architectural details.  Therefore, a steel structure with steel columns, beams, joists and decking was chosen.

In order to accommodate the expansive clay soils on the site, a structural slab supported by piles and grade beams was utilized at the main floor and basement.  This system would best accommodate the possible movement of the soil below the building and minimize disturbance to the library floors.

In early 2018, the EPL opened its new targeted LEED® Silver certified Calder Branch facility, which is easily accessible by foot, vehicles and transit.  The new space features a large community room, quiet study space, flexible programming space, 17 public computers, free Wi-Fi, a freshwater aquarium in the children’s area, easy parking access, and a central reading area with a fireplace.

The EPL says it is “thrilled about this move because it supports the rejuvenation of surrounding neighbourhoods and will grow out partnerships with schools and community organizations.”