Albion District Library
Project: Albion District Library
Location: Etobicoke, Canada
Project Category: Dreaming
Photo credits: Doublespace Photography, Michael Muraz
At 29,000 square feet, the Albion District Library is one of the most well used libraries in the city. Given the high needs of the diverse community, closing down the existing library for renovation was not an option. Our team proposed building a new library on the adjacent parking lot site, allowing the existing library to remain open and in use throughout construction.
The new building takes the form of a walled garden, defined at its perimeter by a polychrome screen of terracotta louvers. A simple timber roof and richly textured perimeter enclosure lifts at the corners to create a sculptural form that invites access into the library and directs rainwater to the interior courtyards and sunlight into the building. The glazed courtyards inform the building plan, dividing a pure square into a series of open zones while four enclosed pavilions house the library’s more cellular functions.
Programs include a Children’s Area, a Computer Learning Centre, and a Digital Innovation + Maker Space. The building enhances and pedestrianizes a car-oriented public realm: surrounded by planting, seating, and a community garden, the library is designed for multi-modal access. Its parking lot doubles as a public plaza and market space, ready to accommodate a wide range of cultural events.