In an increasingly digital world, libraries are having to redefine their role in modern society – what is, after all, a library with no books? Jasper Place Library replaced an older facility in an Edmonton suburb, with the aim of becoming a new social gathering space featuring a large community room with future programming flexibility.

Project Essentials

  • LocationEdmonton, AB
  • ClientCity of Edmonton
  • ArchitectDub Architects and HCMA
  • Size15,000 ft2 (1393 m2)
  • BudgetC$9 million

The structure is predominantly cast-in-place concrete on piles, undulating in a gesture of shelter from the harsh northern Albertan winters. Fast + Epp designed an expressive folded plate concrete roof that spans the entire library space, free of columns to allow for flexibility. The roof, punctuated with skylights, peaks over the main double-height reading room and descends on the east and west sides of the building. Meanwhile, to the north and south, large expanses of glazing bring in natural light and reduce energy use as part of a passive design strategy.

To showcase the exposed concrete structure both inside the building and out the problem of thermal energy loss became a significant issue in the extreme temperatures of Northern Alberta.  The solution was to use a structural thermal break along the glazing line which allowed the concrete shell to project as an overhang and as a part of the shell structure, to dramatically expose the concrete surface over the entry and upper level patio area.  This was the first time we had used this type of product in Edmonton but has since become more comment to prevent energy loss and potential moisture and mold issues within buildings.

Awards

  • National Council of Structural Engineers Associations, USA

    2014 Excellence in Structural Engineering Award

  • Association of Consulting Engineering Companies British Columbia

    2014 Award of Excellence

  • Prairie Design Awards

    2014 Award of Merit