Edmonton Public Library

Edmonton Public Library, Capilano Branch Connects City with Nature, Residents with Community

Libraries connect individuals to incredible stories, educational resources and their communities. The Edmonton Public Library Capilano Branch in Canada takes its connectivity a step further, as the structure brings the city’s urban areas and the neighbouring Fulton Ravine together.

Architects from Group2, the prime consultant, and Patkau Architects, the design architect group, teamed up to bring the 12,000 square-foot library to life, leaning into environmental influences. The completed design of the building is comprised of three “zones”, which run parallel to each other. The zones incorporate flexible spaces for the community and staff, including private and semi-private meeting rooms, study spaces, and a Makerspace focused on technological capabilities and equipped with a 3D printer, iMac computers and additional digital tools. The library is estimated to be able to serve almost 200,000 visitors annually.

Reflecting the surrounding environment, natural wood clads the interior ceilings, interspersed with long, thin vertical lights – brightening the space. The wooden materials are also found on the exterior, at the bottom of the peaks formed from the building envelope’s sharp angular design. This design is enhanced by the mix of rectangular and polygonal ALPOLIC metal panels that were installed around the library’s exterior in a striking black that creates a beautiful juxtaposition set against the wood accents. ALPOLIC metal composite materials deliver excellent flatness and exceptional formability to give the library a sophisticated exterior aesthetic.

The 14,000 square-feet of metal panels are coated in a Valflon® finish supplied by Sherwin-Williams Coil Coatings in the colour TOB Black. This rich, vibrant and high-gloss colour is a fluoropolymer FEVE resin-based coating that offers outstanding colour consistency, protection against weathering, chalking and fading, and excellent overall adhesion. This finish also meets the highest performance standards, including AAMA 2605 specifications. The brilliant colour depth of the Valflon coating allows the project to dynamically stand out.

The building further embraces the library’s natural setting with additional design elements. Expansive 180-foot windows on the eastern side of the building overlook the breathtaking views of the bordering ravine, while wood-screen clerestories permit additional natural light to flow into the library’s interior space. These extra details allow for city residents to immerse themselves in the surrounding nature effortlessly.

The captivating design of the Edmonton Public Library Capilano Branch has been recognised by those even outside of the city’s community. The building has received the following awards: the 2020 AIA/ALA Library Building Award; the 2020 Prairie Design Award – Institution; and the 2019 Wood Design Merit Award. The library is now working towards earning a LEED Silver Certification.

With access to views of the ravine, available innovative technology and a sophisticated design, the Edmonton Public Library Capilano Branch has become a central space for the community. The inclusive space, paired with the striking exterior aesthetic achieved through metal panels coated with the bold Sherwin-Williams Coil Coatings Valflon colour, contributes to the library’s welcoming atmosphere. The structure is further enhanced by its location right next to a residential street – making the space accessible for all of the community.

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