Toronto, ON, CA
“If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need.”
—Marcus Tullius Cicero
“An original idea? That can’t be too hard. The library must be full of them.”
— Stephen Fry
The library as a venue today is charged with reinventing itself. Reconciling its previous role as a repository for books, manuscripts and maps, it now must now shelter a kaleidoscope of media, ideas and methods of exchange along with a new task of supporting production. Its role as a place to ask questions, to be challenged or transported by narratives, is heightened by this intensified duty. The nature of exchange has also been transformed from one between an author and a reader: —an individual experience, —to one where varied data streams meet a community of readers simultaneously in a variety of locations. While asking questions happens anywhere, this library offers a special confluence of materials and amenities for the curious.
As aThe new library on the Civic Centre campus in Vaughan, Ontario, it is located near the intersection of Keele Street and Major Mackenzie Drive, just east of the Sarah Noble House (constructed in 1878 and home to the Vaughan Business Enterprise Centre) and west of City Hall and the Maple GO Station.
The 3345m² (36000f²), two-storey space boasts extensive public facilities beyond its the library’s collection. This includes a café, a teen lounge area, a variety of meeting rooms and collaboration spaces, a study hall, public-access computers and an extensive children’s area, all surrounding a central outdoor courtyard. Additionally, a media suite with a sound recording studio, video studio/green screen space, and a ‘maker-space’ with computer modelling stations and 3D printer are provided. A smaller second level includes a suite of public meeting facilities with direct access to an outdoor terrace overlooking the courtyard, plus the Vaughan Public Libraries administrative offices.
Addressing The library addresses a successionthe needs of different users: , including students (primary to university level), new Canadians, seniors, children and parents, and other curious public, all of whom are engaged by these various opportunities methods of exchange with the backdrop of Vaughan ever-present.
Responding to an emerging civic campus, we took as a departure point an experience of the woodlot—still a common feature in York Region. The building—its placement and design within the surrounding context of the campus—is meant to simulate the experience of entering a woodlot, which in turn provides a congruent backdrop for the library’s historic neighbours while remaining open to future, further development of the area. [As a woodlot, we are able to explore a building and landscape in-the-round at the entrance to the Civic Centre campus that serves as a backdrop to historic neighbours while remaining open to the future planned facilities of a community market, public square, performing arts centre and office buildings. These future planned facilities include a community market, public square, performing arts centre and office buildings. A large park defined along the south side of the site links to a young residential area and this rounds out the immediate context.] – This section seems opaque to me. Do you mean that the building—its placement and design within the surrounding context of the campus—is meant to simulate the experience of entering a woodlot, which in turn provides a congruent backdrop for the library’s historic neighbours while remaining open to future, further development of the area? .
Newness, both of context and ( the library’s?) program, presents an opportunity to put forward an architectural event that can charge its neighbours and its users with a radical rethink of the possibilities. This particular facility has a special duty to support study, but also to challenge thinking.
Status: Under Construction
Location: Vaughan, ON, CDN
My Role: Design Architect
Additional Credits: ZAS Architects/Interiors Project Team
Principal-in-Charge: Paul Stevens
Lead Design/Project Architect: Dieter Janssen (DJA www.dieterjanssen.com)
Project Manager: Peter Duckworth
Structure, M&E: MMM Group Limited (http://mmmgrouplimited.com/)
Landscape: Scott Torrance Landscape Architects (http://scotttorrance.ca/)