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The Mississauga Public Library Project (2011)

22 Mar 2016
Image Credit: Exterior view of Lakeview Library. Tom Arban
Architectural Credit: Rounthwaite Dick & Hadley Architects Inc.
Location: Mississauga, ON
Architects: Rounthwaite Dick & Hadley Architects Inc. (RDH Architects)
Date of completion: 2011
OAA Awards 2016 Design Excellence Finalist

Spread across three different public libraries in Mississauga, Ontario – namely Lakeview, Port Credit, and Lorne Park Branch libraries – the Mississauga Public Library project is unique in that it doesn’t consist of a single building, but instead captures the renovation of three distinct yet similar mid-century libraries. The original three libraries were all constructed between 1956 and 1967, and share a similar Modernist architectural vocabulary and park-like locations. In order to make efficient use of public infrastructure stimulus funds, the Mississauga Public Library project took advantage of these similarities to develop a single unifying vocabulary of parts which could be applied to all three libraries while still recognizing the individuality of each building.

Exterior view of Lorne Park Library.  Photo Credit: Tom Arban

Sensitive to the original Modernist language, the exterior renovations accentuate the original rhythm of solid and void that characterized all three libraries – further emphasizing the voids by increasing the amount of glazing with floor to ceiling glass and minimal detailing. The most salient exterior change is the addition of a canopy and terrace system that wraps around each library. The canopies better integrate the buildings with their park settings, as well as provide necessary solar shading to reduce heat gain.

Interior View of the Port Credit Library reading atrium.  Photo Credit: Tom Arban

In the interior, the architects have restored the original open plans through the use of contemporary strategies including structural glass partition walls and low shelving. These interventions increase sight lines and views within and out of the libraries, and help reinstate the original Modernist aspiration of three clear, rational and open pavilions floating above their natural settings.

Interior view of Port Credit Library.  Photo Credit: Tom Arban

The Mississauga Public Library project has reinvigorated all three mid-century libraries, acknowledging and respecting the historic relevance of their original Modernist vocabulary while providing the necessary renovations and additions to serve a 21st century audience.

To view the complete submission, including additional images and drawings, please click here.

This post (18/20) 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 08, 2016 13:47 by Anonymous
Understated and respectful. This project would have worked well 50 years ago and will still hold up 50 years from now.

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