McGill University, Library Master Plan

Montreal, QC, Canada | 2015

This master plan provides McGill Libraries with a strategy for transforming its facilities to meet the evolving needs of the 21st century user and continue its central role in the academic life of the university.

The reimagined Library embraces the architectural beauty of the past, integrates the evolving needs of today and prepares for the technological advances of the future. The feasibility study rebuilds Redpath Library, reintroducing it as an urban gateway for the downtown campus

The entire building would be linked by a generous grand staircase, spanning from the cafe on the street level; through bustling 24/7 teaching, learning, collaboration, and study spaces adjacent to the outdoor terraces; past a stepped forum; and up to an iconic reading room with views to the campus and the city beyond. The redesigned site places a 2.7 million volume Automated Storage and Retrieval System (ASRS) beneath an adjoining campus field, freeing critical floor space for individual and group study.

The nine-month exercise included an analysis of space needs and opportunities and collection storage strategies for this highly constrained site. An inclusive process engaged members from across the McGill community in developing a bold new vision for the Library. Shepley Bulfinch is the design architect, in association with EKM Architects of Montreal.


Shepley Bulfinch Team

Janette Blackburn
Jay Verspyck
Steve Erwin
Kelly Brubaker
Jean Kim
Barak Yaryan

"The proposed vision strives to exceed the highest international standards, creating a building complex that will unite all faculties, firmly entrench the Library at the edge of a bold new frontier, and establish McGill as a guiding light throughout the 21st century."

Colleen Cook
Trenholme Dean of Libraries
McGill University

©2017 Shepley Bulfinch