TPL Scarborough Civic Centre Branch
https://urbannext.net/tpl-scarborough-civic-centre-branch/

TPL Scarborough Civic Centre Branch

Posted on November 8, 2017 by editorship

Categories: , , , ,

The Scarborough Civic Centre Branch, the 100th for the Toronto Public Library, demonstrates what a library can be in the 21st century. Technologically adaptable, welcoming to an ever-growing and diverse population, and celebrating design, the branch transcends its primary role as a local community hub and acts as a point of pride for the city at large. 

The library unfurls at the southern side of the Scarborough Civic Centre, an icon of soaring white shapes designed in 1973 by Moriyama & Teshima. Like the juxtaposition of the sheer cliffs and horizontal shoreline of the nearby Scarborough Bluffs, the new structure contrasts the Civic Centre’s vertical faces with its low, sprawling roof bands.

Site plan
Floor planAxonometry

 

The architecture was conceived to create a green respite within the immediate, heavily urban context. Four roofs, each a ribbon-like band and planted with local vegetation, will, once-rooted, be stirring to both passers-by from the street and people within the library, who will see the ornamental grasses and plants through the building’s many clerestory windows. With much of the roof planted, the building replenishes the grassy hill it supplants.

The library’s strategic position at the south end of the Civic Centre further animates the surroundings by creating several distinct zones and connections. Near the library’s main entrance, slanting columns enliven a new plaza along Borough Drive. At the west end, a new urban garden graces the edge of a grand pedestrian walkway and creates a second front entrance to the Civic Centre. To the north, a gently sloped and planted ramp provides barrier-free access to the Civic Centre’s Albert Campbell Square (as well as a view over the lowest part of the roof structure). To the east, the building envelopes three existing oak trees, showcasing their slender grace through expansive windows, echoing their trunks with the interior columns. In the warmer months, the courtyard adjacent to the children’s area provides a furtive nook for young minds.

Much as the greenery will constantly change, the library itself will also be ever evolving to suit the needs of the surrounding, quickly densifying community. To ensure maximum flexibility (as well as barrier-free accessibility), the open-concept, 14,500-square-foot branch rests all on one floor. All the tables and all the 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. Even the two separate rooms adjacent to the central hall — the innovation hub (with 3D printer) and the multi-purpose room — are portioned with glass walls to allow for visual continuity. Although the stacks are currently arranged by age, they all ring a central gathering space and are in close proximity to one another. That way, serendipitous meetings can occur between different demographics, and the space can help bring the community closer together.

TPL Scarborough Civic Centre Branch – urbanNext Skip to content

Audio Version

See more about

More info

Architects: LGA Architectural Partners

Location: Toronto, Canada

Size: 14,500 square feet

Completion date: May 2015

Photography: Ben Rahn / A-Frame
Architectural Project Team:

LGA Architectural Partners and Phillip H. Carter architects in joint venture.

Brock James, Partner-in-Charge, LGA Architectural Partners

Danny Bartman, Liana Bresler, Dan Briker, Cynthia Dovell, Ian Huff, Leo Lin, Yvonne Popovska, Amanda Reed, Clara Shipman


Landscape Architect:

Scott Torrance Landscape Architect Inc.


Structural Engineering:

Blackwell


Mechanical and Electrical Engineering:

Enso Systems


Civil Engineering:

Fabian Papa

TPL Scarborough Civic Centre Branch

The Scarborough Civic Centre Branch, the 100th for the Toronto Public Library, demonstrates what a library can be in the 21st century. Technologically adaptable, welcoming to an ever-growing and diverse population, and celebrating design, the branch transcends its primary role as a local community hub and acts as a point of pride for the city at large. 

The library unfurls at the southern side of the Scarborough Civic Centre, an icon of soaring white shapes designed in 1973 by Moriyama & Teshima. Like the juxtaposition of the sheer cliffs and horizontal shoreline of the nearby Scarborough Bluffs, the new structure contrasts the Civic Centre’s vertical faces with its low, sprawling roof bands.

Site plan
Floor planAxonometry

 

The architecture was conceived to create a green respite within the immediate, heavily urban context. Four roofs, each a ribbon-like band and planted with local vegetation, will, once-rooted, be stirring to both passers-by from the street and people within the library, who will see the ornamental grasses and plants through the building’s many clerestory windows. With much of the roof planted, the building replenishes the grassy hill it supplants.

The library’s strategic position at the south end of the Civic Centre further animates the surroundings by creating several distinct zones and connections. Near the library’s main entrance, slanting columns enliven a new plaza along Borough Drive. At the west end, a new urban garden graces the edge of a grand pedestrian walkway and creates a second front entrance to the Civic Centre. To the north, a gently sloped and planted ramp provides barrier-free access to the Civic Centre’s Albert Campbell Square (as well as a view over the lowest part of the roof structure). To the east, the building envelopes three existing oak trees, showcasing their slender grace through expansive windows, echoing their trunks with the interior columns. In the warmer months, the courtyard adjacent to the children’s area provides a furtive nook for young minds.

Much as the greenery will constantly change, the library itself will also be ever evolving to suit the needs of the surrounding, quickly densifying community. To ensure maximum flexibility (as well as barrier-free accessibility), the open-concept, 14,500-square-foot branch rests all on one floor. All the tables and all the 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. Even the two separate rooms adjacent to the central hall — the innovation hub (with 3D printer) and the multi-purpose room — are portioned with glass walls to allow for visual continuity. Although the stacks are currently arranged by age, they all ring a central gathering space and are in close proximity to one another. That way, serendipitous meetings can occur between different demographics, and the space can help bring the community closer together.

Architects: LGA Architectural Partners

Location: Toronto, Canada

Size: 14,500 square feet

Completion date: May 2015

Photography: Ben Rahn / A-Frame

urbanNext (September 29, 2023) TPL Scarborough Civic Centre Branch. Retrieved from https://urbannext.net/tpl-scarborough-civic-centre-branch/.
TPL Scarborough Civic Centre Branch.” urbanNext – September 29, 2023, https://urbannext.net/tpl-scarborough-civic-centre-branch/
urbanNext November 8, 2017 TPL Scarborough Civic Centre Branch., viewed September 29, 2023,<https://urbannext.net/tpl-scarborough-civic-centre-branch/>
urbanNext – TPL Scarborough Civic Centre Branch. [Internet]. [Accessed September 29, 2023]. Available from: https://urbannext.net/tpl-scarborough-civic-centre-branch/
TPL Scarborough Civic Centre Branch.” urbanNext – Accessed September 29, 2023. https://urbannext.net/tpl-scarborough-civic-centre-branch/
TPL Scarborough Civic Centre Branch.” urbanNext [Online]. Available: https://urbannext.net/tpl-scarborough-civic-centre-branch/. [Accessed: September 29, 2023]

urbanNext | expanding architecture to rethink cities and territories

Newsletter

Sign up to our newsletter

Search
Generic filters
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Search in excerpt
Formats
Audio&visual
Concept
Data
Essay
Forum
Lecture
Podcast
Project
Talk
Survey
Statement
Selfthink
High Density
Middle Density
Low Density
No Density

talk

essay

project

product

survey

data

all formats