Winnipeg Architecture Foundation

Places

Buildings

Fort Garry public Library

Address:1360 Pembina Highway
Use:Public Library
Original Use:Public Library
Constructed:1959
Other Work:1967, addition to the south
2014, Renovations (including interior paint and updating finishes, accessible washrooms and an addition to the multi-purpose space)
Architects:George A. Stewart
Tours:Part of the QR Code Tour

More Information

This medium-sized local library was designed by local modern architect George A. Stewart. Among the buff brick-clad structure's original exterior distinguishing features were the flat roof, slender clerestory windows, a canopy-covered entry and tall brise-soleil – tall sun-shades located in front of the main Pembina Highway windows on the building's west facade. The latter were removed in a recent renovation. Inside the building features a fluid and open arrangement of spaces, a highlight being the double-height main room and the prominent use of heavy laminated wood beams. Stewart said of the design of the building: "The role of the library in a modern community is to be a cultural and educational centre which helps people of all ages reach maturity rather than mere adulthood."

During 2014 renovations, the "brise soleil" were removed from the front windows and sadly were not replaced. These vertical shutters were an important component of the building"s modernist design.

Design Characteristics

  • Flat roof structure with generous eaves and a low-slung horizontal character
  • Exterior finished in buff brick with painted paneling
  • Prominent and distinct screen over street-facing glazing
  • Interior is double height, with a mezzanine. It is lit with both skylights and transom glazing
  • Interior materials include painted plaster and exposed brick, the ceiling is finished in stained wood, with exposed laminated wood beams

Sources

  • "Sees library as community centre," Winnipeg Free Press, March 10, 1960.
  • Clare Marcus, "Manitoban's are Becoming More Book Conscious," Winnipeg Free Press, October 22, 1960 (Mention of the Fort Garry Public Library's circulation doubling upon moving into their newly constructed building.)
  • "Library Address," February 22, 1960. (Event announcement for a lecture George A. Stewart will be giving on the role of the library in the modern community.)

Links & Related Buildings