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  • CMU Marpeck Commons. Northside of the library at night.
  • CMU Marpeck Commons. Northside of the library at night.
  • CMU Marpeck Commons. East side of the library including the bridge and landscaping at night.
  • CMU Marpeck Commons. The bridge over Shaftesbury Boulevard at night.
  • CMU Marpeck Commons. Close up of the northside of the cafe portion of the building at night.
  • CMU Marpeck Commons. The spacious main floor foyer and cafe as seen from the top of the stairs.
  • CMU Marpeck Commons. the library and bridge looking east down Grant Ave at night.
  • CMU Marpeck Commons. Close up of front entrance to Commons from outside.
  • CMU Marpeck Commons. Commons cafe seating and two storey high windows with heritage campus across the field.
  • CMU Marpeck Commons. Book checkout counter and doors to the commons area.
  • CMU Marpeck Commons. Library interior.
  • CMU Marpeck Commons. Commons foyer, staircase to study rooms and bridge.

Marpeck Commons and Bridge

2299 Grant Avenue (at Shaftesbury), Canadian Mennonite University, Winnipeg, Manitoba
Photographs by Leif Norman (leifnorman.net)

The Canadian Mennonite University (CMU) attracts bright and aspiring students from Mennonite backgrounds and other faiths. CMU's library has been challenged for adequate space from it's inception as a University, and a campus divided by a busy, four lane thoroughfare has proven to be as great a challenge. In response, plans for a new 2,136 sq.m. (23,000 sq.ft.) library and pedestrian bridge are well underway. This new library incorporates an 'information commons' to facilitate structured and informal learning in community, small group and individual settings. Also included are the university bookstore and resource centre, a café and flexible space for interactive fellowship. From the Upper Commons on the second floor, the pedestrian bridge provides the protected link to the South Campus across Grant Avenue. The end result will create an expressive yet dignified structure, stretching gracefully across the campus and the Southwest Winnipeg landscape.

From the exterior plaza to the interior lobby, the strong linearity of the materials orient the users throughout the space. A simple palette of vegetation skirts the foundation walls and contrasts against the Tyndall stone and glass structure. As an extension of the exterior, the interior design offers a contemporary earth toned backdrop for learning, while accents of wood and punches of colour help delineate critical functions and lively activity zones. Cohesively, the facility design reflects a seamless approach which focuses on universal design, durability, security, acoustics, functionality and aesthetics. Opening Fall 2014.