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CANADIAN ARCHITECT 02/20

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division and Ed Cuddy of Library Services, the planning of libraries in Winnipeg has evolved radically over the past two decades. Straightforward templates for library design no longer exist; planning now involves a negotiation between librarians, city staff and local residents. Public use of the city’s libraries extends far beyond books to information technology, community programming and accessibility in all its senses. As a result, Penner and Rodrigues found themselves asked to do more than accommodate books: satisfying, in addition, new patterns and networks of use. Early in schematic design, the program and site constraints naturally resolved into a 30/60 triangle—a form that has a nostalgic resonance for architects of a certain age. The simple yet unusual form stands out as a landmark in the community. Its acute angle is striking to any passerby—pedestrian, bicyclist, driver. Set back and sunk slightly below road level, the building is buf-

fered from the adjacent traffic arterial by stands of prairie tall grass. Access is via a looping roadway designed, like a street, with parking on either side, avoiding the typical suburban-style parking lot. An arcade of asymmetrical, inventively detailed W-sections supports a corrugated steel roof, all powder-coated white; behind this rises the library’s east façade. The sleek profile of the library cuts into one’s line of sight, an effect even more powerful at night, when interior lighting makes the building glow. It slices toward the adjacent ravine, where a wooden bridge leads to the public pool, offering other community activities as well as overflow parking. While most of the façade is full-height glass, as one moves from the south tip of the building to the entrance, the glazing is modulated by perforated Corten cladding, screening some windows while revealing others. Wise budgeting is always appreciated in this city, and the architects emphasize that this cladding was off-the-shelf, with standard

Profile for IQ Business Media

Canadian Architect February 2020  

Canadian Architect is a magazine for architects and related professionals practicing in Canada. Canada’s only monthly design publication, Ca...

Canadian Architect February 2020  

Canadian Architect is a magazine for architects and related professionals practicing in Canada. Canada’s only monthly design publication, Ca...

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