Toronto-based LGA Architectural Partners has won the OLA Library Building Award, in the Library Architectural and Design Transformation category, for its expansion and renovation of the Kitchener Main Branch Public Library.
With this award, the OLA – the oldest and largest library association in Canada – honours excellence in additions, renovations, restorations, conversions to library use, interior redesigns and refurnishing for libraries in Ontario. The award, which is bestowed only once every three years, will be presented on July 6 at the Annual Institute on the Library as Place conference, during an evening reception at the Waterloo Delta, in Waterloo, ON.
LGA preserved the original Kitchener Main Branch Public Library like a ship in a bottle by wrapping the mid-century-modern structure with a high-efficiency curtain wall with operable windows. The glazing both showcases the building’s iconic, 1962 structure, and dramatically upgrades the energy performance with a target of LEED Gold certification.
Beyond sustainability, LGA also improved the library’s accessibility, technological capacity and flexibility for future change. The firm integrated accessibility with low shelving, wide pathways and an elevator that connects all the floors. LGA also included a digital lab with a 3D printer and electronic die cutter in labs with glass walls to expose the making of things. And the firm added a new second storey to expand the facility by 30,000 square feet, creating space for a variety of open and closed rooms for group and solitary learning.
Says LGA partner David Warne of the win, “We are thrilled to receive this honour from the OLA for our renovation of the Kitchener Main Branch Public Library. Designing libraries is an integral part of our studio. And as the nature of the library continues to evolve, from being a place of reading and research to one of active collaboration, making and technological exploration, we are excited to continue to explore the ways design can encourage and facilitate this transformation.”
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