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Ādisōke, Ottawa Public Library

Ottawa, ON
  • Bldg system

    Mass Timber

  • No. Of Stories


  • Sq. footage


Inspired by nature, Indigenous communities, and Canadians from coast to coast, the design philosophy behind the new Ottawa Public Library (OPL) and Library and Archives Canada (LAC) joint facility is about coming together as a community for gathering, learning, and discovery. On behalf of the Anishinābe Algonquin Nation, the facility was named Ādisōke, which refers to storytelling in the Anishinābemowin language.

Ādisōke’s design is inspired by Canada’s history and the natural beauty of Ontario. The 5-storey, 216,000 square foot structure will feature a striking undulating roof that alludes to flow of the nearby Ottawa River, while locally sourced materials such as limestone and timber celebrate Ontario’s natural resources. Tall triple-glazed windows encircle the building to invite large expansive views of the river and Gatineau Hills.

With the help of Federal funding, the facility will achieve significant sustainability targets, including net-zero carbon and LEED Gold certification. The building features sustainable design elements like enhanced daylighting, a green roof with solar panels, and the use of wood as a structural element. Underfloor air and raised access floors are used to control temperature and ambiet conditions in the facility to protect all these valuable archives.  Additionally these systems will contribute to LEED certification and energy savings.

The distinctive roof design of the project predominantly features Nail-Laminated Timber (NLT) panels supported by glulam beams resting on unique "tree" columns. To achieve the desired curving roof profile, the NLT panels are intentionally warped. These panels are crafted from Spruce-Pine-Fir (SPF) wood, while the glulam beams are constructed using Douglas Fir. In certain extended-span sections of the roof, the curved effect is achieved using laminated glulam beams positioned side by side instead of NLT panels. The structural integrity of the design is enhanced through the implementation of "tree" columns – concrete columns adorned with steel branches that intricately connect to the glulam beams.

Expected to draw in approximately 1.7 million visitors annually, Ādisōke will not only be a showcase for Canada’s culture but a community gathering place and an example of the country’s commitment to sustainability. Construction is anticipated to start in 2021 and finish in 2024.

  • Construction Cost:


  • Building Type:

    Assembly (Worship, Restaurant, Theater)

  • Material Types:

    Mass Timber, Nail-Laminated Timber (NLT), Glue-Laminated Timber (GLT or glulam), Hybrid (wood with steel or concrete)

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