highlands branch library by schmidt hammer lassen opens in edmonton, canada highlands branch library by schmidt hammer lassen opens in edmonton, canada
oct 10, 2014

highlands branch library by schmidt hammer lassen opens in edmonton, canada

highlands branch library by schmidt hammer lassen opens in edmonton, canada
photo by merle prosofsky photography ltd.
all images courtesy of schmidt hammer lassen architects

 

 

 

to replace an existing library on the northeast side of edmonton, canada, schmidt hammer lassen architects has completed the new ‘highlands branch’ facility, which accommodates a larger program and provides an open and accessible landmark to the community. the design looks to the city’s surrounding buildings, resulting in a low-rise structure with multiple peaked forms with diverging roof pitches. it displays a contemporary sensibility through its materiality, comprised of metal panels and large windows.

schmidt hammer lassen architects highlands branch library edmonton designboom

the separate wings of the building slope away from one another, resulting in two peaked roof forms
photo by merle prosofsky photography ltd.

 

 

 

to display a desired openness to the community, the building’s façades allow for views into the library spaces from all vantage points. schmidt hammer lassen founding partner morten schmidt states, ‘the library pavilion faces the surroundings in all directions and acts like a beacon in the community. the building’s transparency and openness contributes to its social hub function, which is essential for a modern library.’

schmidt hammer lassen architects highlands branch library edmonton designboom

metal cladding and large windows provide a contemporary sensibility to the facility
photo by merle prosofsky photography ltd.

 

 

 

the building is organized into three wings, which house collections for children, teens, and adults separately. the zones are arranged around a central librarian station, while complemented by a children’s area, expanded reading area for adults, dedicated teen space, quiet study room, 18 computer stations, and other new technologies for creative stimulation. in regards to usable area, the new branch library exceeds the existing facility (built in 1962) by 200 square meters, reaching 1,500 sqm in total.

schmidt hammer lassen architects highlands branch library edmonton designboom

the sloping forms respond to building’s in the surrounding neighborhood
photo by merle prosofsky photography ltd.

 

 

 

schmidt hammer lassen architects partner chris hardie describes the project’s intentions as follows:

 

‘in the design of the building we are inspired by the low-rise buildings in the neighborhood. the new library is designed as a composition of pitched roofs, which is given a contemporary and modern expression with the implementation of large windows and the metallic facade material. the library sits like an open pavilion in a garden and expresses that it is open to all; a free public space, a place to read, a place to learn, a place to meet, a place to be.’

schmidt hammer lassen architects highlands branch library edmonton designboom

photo by merle prosofsky photography ltd.

 

 

 

the danish architecture studio schmidt hammer lassen boasts an extensive portfolio of internationally located library projects, with the highlands branch in edmonton being its first completed in canada. soon to follow, the office will be finalizing a second in the country – the halifax new central library – as well as a closer-to-home facility in aarhus known as DOKK1.

schmidt hammer lassen architects highlands branch library edmonton designboom

the librarian station is centrally located between each of the building’s wings
photo by merle prosofsky photography ltd.

schmidt hammer lassen architects highlands branch library edmonton designboom

photo by merle prosofsky photography ltd.

schmidt hammer lassen architects highlands branch library edmonton designboom

to promote an accessible nature, all vantage points of the library provide views of the interior
photo by merle prosofsky photography ltd.

 

 

 

project info:

 

architecture: schmidt hammer lassen architects, marshall tittemore architects
client: edmonton public library / city of edmonton
area: 1,500 sqm
engineering: read jones christoffersen, smith + andersen, hemisphere engineering, ISL engineering ltd
landscape architecture: dialog
sustainability: targeting a LEED silver certification
photography: merle prosofsky photography ltd.

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