Heart of the Campus – Mount Royal University Riddell Library and Learning Centre
Landmarked as a significant contribution to the Mount Royal University Campus, The Riddell Library and Learning Centre is the newest building addition and the heart of the campus for students, professors, and general public. The elegant façade that inscribes a translatable pattern ties notions of literacy to our modern world – binary to building.
The project was borne out of an intensive program and necessity to decant and house, not only the current campus library, but also several teaching and administrative spaces. Flexibility and diversity were key principals in the design, transforming the notion of a traditional library to a technological library focused on student experience, active learning and interaction with information.
The Library and Learning Centre is situated immediately east of the Arts building, south of the existing residences and north of the new conservatory. With a total GFA of 22320 sqm, the library encompasses four floors with an enclosed mechanical penthouse and a single level of underground parking. The building is transparent and opens onto the Plaza enhancing pedestrian accessibility and welcoming visitors from the street. Glazed facades outlook onto the green space and allow for views into the activity of the Library and Learning Centre.
Programming of the building is rationalized through a 9 m by 9 m efficient structural grid with clear primary (East/West) and secondary (North/ South) public promenades. The design encompasses four floors of public collaborative spaces, offices and administrative spaces, classrooms, labs and library collections, while keeping a very modest budget target within donor and governmental grants. The building massing and program registers all library collections, public spaces and most collaborative spaces, to the south with office and administrative spaces to the north.
Sustainable design initiatives include, horizontal and vertical exterior elements which enliven the facades and provide sun shading. Two, four storey central wells are located at the heart of the building with clerestory glazing above, which allow for increased interior daylight penetration into the building. The project is targeting LEED® Gold Certification.
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