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Canadian team led by Indigenous architect Alfred Waugh to design the new central library

November 2020

Today, we are pleased to announce the award-winning team consisting of Formline Architecture, Chevalier Morales Architectes and Architecture49 will serve as the design team for the new central library.

Architects Alfred Waugh (Formline Architecture) and Stephan Chevalier (Chevalier Morales Architectes), both with over 25 years of experience, will design the new central library. Architecture49 will manage the project.

We chose this team because of their expertise and proposed approach to designing a new central library that will embody local First Nation and Métis identities (traditions and cultures) and express the aspirations of the Saskatoon community as a whole. The design team, led by Alfred Waugh, has the experience, vision, and collaborative spirit to incorporate both Indigenous and non-Indigenous leadership, values, history, and ways of knowing into a state-of-the-art library. The team also demonstrated successful experience in designing sustainable, universally accessible buildings and delivering projects on time and within budget.

Formline Architecture is 100% Indigenous owned and specializes in culturally sensitive and environmentally responsible design solutions. Alfred Waugh has built his reputation on consulting with Indigenous communities to understand their needs and wisdom, and translating this knowledge into an inherently sustainable design that is respectful of its place, use of materials and local culture. Waugh is Status and part of Treaty 8, registered with the Fond Du Lac Denesuline First Nation in Northern Saskatchewan.

Stephen Chevalier, a founding partner at Chevalier Morales Architectes, specializes in cultural projects, including libraries. He has been awarded numerous architecture awards for his library designs, including two Governor General Awards for Architecture.

Architecture49 is a large national practice of architects, interior designers, planners and landscape architects with a depth of experience in the design and delivery of some of Canada’s most important buildings and environments.

Notable projects by members of this design team include:

  • Indian Residential School, History and Dialogue Centre, Vancouver, BC (Formline Architecture)
  • First Peoples House, Victoria, BC (Formline Architecture)
  • Drummondville Public Library, Drummondville, QC (Chevalier Morales Architectes)
  • The Maison de la Littérature, Québec, QC (Chevalier Morales Architectes)
  • VIDO-InterVac International Vaccine Centre, Saskatoon, SK (Architecture49)

SPL issued a Request for Proposals for a prime design consultant on Sep 8, 2020. A total of 18 proposals were received, four of which were short-listed. The short-listed teams (in alphabetical order) were:

  • Formline Architecture (Canada) in association with Chevalier Morales Architectes (Canada) and Architecture49 (Canada).
  • Lemay Architecture & Design (Canada).
  • P3A (Canada) in association with David Fortin Architecture (Canada) and Schmitt Hammer Lassen Architects (Denmark).
  • Revery (Canada) in association with 1080 Architecture (Canada).

The design work for this important community building will begin immediately. To ensure the library reflects our community’s visions and aspirations, broad community consultations are an integral part of the design process and will begin in early 2021. The design team will work with SPL and the public to deliver a new central library that is a source of inspiration and pride for all those who call Saskatoon home.

Planned to open in 2026, the home of the new central library is 321 2nd Avenue North. The new central library will be a destination for everyone, including future generations. It will be a place to gather, connect, learn, read, play and share. It will also serve as a critical piece of social infrastructure driving downtown development, economic growth and social inclusion in Saskatoon.

Construction tendering will follow the completion of the design work. The construction of the library is estimated to be $73.3 million. Details about the project budget and costs, including the tax implications, are available here:

Meet the Design Team