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TPL Scarborough Civic Centre Branch (2015)

24 Mar 2016
Image Credit: Ben Rahn / A-Frame
Architectural Credit: LGA Architectural Partners Inc. and Phillip H. Carter, Architect in joint venture
Location: Toronto, ON
LGA Architectural Partners Inc. and Phillip H. Carter, Architect in joint venture
Date of completion: 2015
OAA Awards 2016 Design Excellence Winner

Flanking the southern edge of the iconic Scarborough Civic Centre (Raymond Moriyama Architects, 1973), Toronto’s 100th public library, the Toronto Public Library Scarborough Civic Centre Branch, is as much an exercise in architecture as it is in urban design, reorganizing and reorienting the precinct’s disengaged and outdated site plan relationships to create a welcoming, vital point of community engagement for the burgeoning, highly diverse population.

Photo Credit: Ben Rahn / A-Frame
As the first significant public building realized within the Scarborough Civic Centre Precinct in 25 years, the library realizes part of the original 1969 plan for the area which originally envisioned a library as part of the civic centre. At the same time, the library is an important element within a larger redevelopment strategy for the precinct, moving away from the car-centric, “objects in the landscape” urban thinking of the 1960s and towards a more pedestrian oriented, urban scaled future, reconnecting the precinct’s buildings by focusing on the design of the spaces between them.

Photo Credit: Ben Rahn / A-Frame
The building’s porous nature and sense of openness contrasts with the existing monumental civic centre, maintaining the garden like qualities of the grassy man-made hill it replaces. From the exterior, its most recognizable feature is the four gently sloping roof planes that create an elevated garden landscape. The green roof’s vegetation is exemplary for its use of local vegetation to improve biodiversity in the area, utilizing the same plants found in the Little Bluestem Alvar grassland along the shorelines of southern Ontario. The large roof overhangs on the south and west facades also provide passive solar shading to reduce cooling loads in summer months.

Photo Credit: Ben Rahn / A-Frame
Recognizing the need for future adaptability as the surrounding community densifies and changes, the architects have designed the library’s interior to ensure maximum flexibility. The interior consists of a single storey, open-concept layout and all tables and stacks are on wheels for easy reorganization. The raised podium floor has a grid of moveable electrical and data connections that can be re-arranged as needed.

Operating at a multitude of scales, from the building to the city, the Scarborough Civic Centre Library Branch kick-starts a new wave of development aimed at urbanizing the ‘super-block’ of Scarborough’s Civic Centre Precinct, strengthening and reinvigorating this important community hub while reshaping the precinct for 21st century needs.

To view the complete submission, including additional images and drawings, please click here.
This post (20/20) is part of the OAA Awards 2016 Design Excellence Finalists blOAAg series celebrating the best of Ontario architecture. Every day during the month of March we will be posting a new finalist. You can view all posts by clicking here. Winners will be announced April 1, 2016.  

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April 16, 2016 00:06 by Anonymous
Nice ...

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April 13, 2016 23:03 by Anonymous
"This is garbage" -David Duan

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April 13, 2016 22:52 by Anonymous
i heard the duan might come here in the future

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April 10, 2016 05:47 by Anonymous
Fantastic şo şo beautiful ai lick its şo beautiful plce in the world inshallah in life ai will viting. Şo beautiful plce

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April 09, 2016 20:51 by Anonymous
So sorry that I have never been here...

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April 08, 2016 13:04 by Anonymous

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