Community members are invited to have their say about the future of St. Vital Library.
A public open house event was held at the landmark library, located at 6 Fermor Ave., on Sept. 13, to showcase the revised renovation design plans for the designated heritage building, which was built in 1963 and is a designated heritage building. Library officials and the architectural team are working with the City’s historical buildings and resources committee to help ensure the renovation project respects and preserves the library’s heritage elements, officials say.
Project architect Wins Bridgman said there are several considerations when looking at design aspects of a public library of this age and stature.
"Firstly, there’s building function, which is an important factor for a mid-modern building," said Bridgman.
"We want to ensure that everyone can use the library, whether it’s young people, old people or people with certain abilities. You must consider things like sloped walkways and the railings on the stairs that make the space child-friendly. This building is a combination of humbleness and exuberance, which is a Winnipeg quality, and everywhere you go you see natural light and Scandinavian wood beams, and there’s people watching people. You want to try and keep these qualities," he added, noting this is the second phase of the design process.
"You want to think about the essence of the place, and there are very few rotunda public spaces like this in the city, so when you have a space like this you want to celebrate these different elements."
Ed Cuddy, manager of library services at the City of Winnipeg, said the next phase of the process is to finalize the design plans and tender the construction bid before work starts early next year.
"This is really an opportunity to continue to showcase modernist architecture and to make the new design more accessible and create more space for the community to engage with the staff," Cuddy said, noting the first phase of the project included the installation of an elevator.
"We’re very excited to see this accessible and flexible piece of architecture when it’s complete."
Individuals who were unable to attend the recent open house can view the design plans and provide their feedback online by visiting wpl.winnipeg.ca/library/stvital/default.asp
Community journalist — The Lance
Simon Fuller is the community journalist for The Lance. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org Call him at 204-697-7111