Tag Archives: Library

Design Spotlight: The North End Free Library

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The North End Free Library
Thier + Curran Architects Inc.
56 Macaulay St W
Completed: July 2015

Sometimes all you need is a bench and a book. Mixed with the right setting and it can be a fairytale of imagination, inspiration, and conversation. In this case, Thier + Curran Architects wrote the perfect story.

With a bench on a steel frame and a box full of books, the recently completed North End Free Library is a little community oasis on a quiet street.

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The raw steel frame is exposed with all the marks and traces of its construction. Perched atop the L-shaped boxlike frame is an ipe slat bench for the passerby to stop and read, or converse with neighbours.

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A cedar library box hangs down against the frame like a light. With a decorative resin window and self-closing hinges, the little library comfortably holds an adequate amount of books in a sealed space. It’s like finding a cupboard of educational treasures.

Designed and financed by Thier + Curran Architects, the library presides on the Scime/Curran Residence, an adaptive re-use project by TCA.

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Each book even comes with a custom stamp designed by the firm. Take a book, or leave a book.

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Architectural Spotlight: Lynden Library

Photo Courtesy: Hamilton Public Library

Photo Courtesy: Hamilton Public Library

Lynden Library
McCallum Sather Architects Inc
110 Lynden Road
Completed: January 2013

Nestled in the quaint hamlet of Lynden is the recently finished Hamilton Public Library, Lynden Branch. Set back from the road, the single-storey, 4,000 square foot library employs two distinct contexts of both rural and urban building design.

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The exterior of the building consists primarily of a brown brick veneer, a look that integrates well with the library’s surroundings. Punched individual windows and large corner windows give a noticeable touch to the building’s exterior.

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Above the covered entrance of the library are shaded and ventilated upper clerestory windows that provide the atrium with ample natural lighting.

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Inside the library, exposed glulam beams compliment the upper clerestory windows, giving the space a warm, rustic feel.

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The children’s corner has punched windows at varying levels with colourful tints that add liveliness to the area.

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Next to the children’s corner is a casual seating area where parents can watch their children or read in comfort.

The large open floor of the library allows for more social interaction, as well as better visibility for staff and patrons.

The library also has a Teen Room equipped with computers, a smaller room for meetings, and a sufficient stock of books.

The library has a long list of sustainability features including an energy savings of over 35% than required by the Ontario Building Code. To reduce the light power output, occupancy sensors control the lighting. Many components of the building’s structure, including the brick veneer, contain recycled materials.

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Dundas’ Carnegie Gallery in the midst of a revitalization

Carnegie Gallery on King Street W and Ogilvie Street, Dundas

Carnegie Gallery on King Street W and Ogilvie Street, Dundas

One of the most beloved heritage buildings in Dundas is getting both a facelift and a new addition.

Carnegie Gallery is in the midst of a revitalization project by Dundas-based architects Perkins + Will. The changes being made to the gallery include street level accessibility, a wheelchair accessible washroom, a visitor operable elevator, and some extra gallery wall space, among others.

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The street level accessibility will be on Ogilvie Street, via the new addition. This addition will be an atrium, which is superimposed against the southern side of the building. The atrium will feature large floor-to-ceiling windows facing the street and a brick accent that should fit seamlessly with the building’s existing exterior.

The building is a neoclassical (or beaux arts) design, with its tall staircase, portico, doric columns, and half columns.

Originally Carnegie Library, the building first opened its doors on December 8th, 1910. The city was one of 111 cities in Ontario (125 in Canada) to receive a grant of $12 000 USD from the Carnegie Foundation. Pittsburgh steel tycoon Andrew Carnegie created the foundation to promote education. In order to qualify for the grant, a municipality had to be able to provide library maintenance by raising an annual amount of one-tenth the grant, from taxes.

The library stayed open until 1970, when a new municipal library was erected further south on Ogilvie Street. The space was converted into a children’s library that lasted only ten years, after which, it was then leased to the Dundas Art and Craft Association.

Heritage Plaque on the side of Carnegie Gallery

Heritage Plaque on the side of Carnegie Gallery

In 1980, Carnegie Library was designated as a heritage building and was converted into Carnegie Gallery in 1981. The building was later purchased by the City of Hamilton in 2006.

Carnegie Gallery currently exhibits bodies of work by local artists and contains a gallery shop that sells art and other goods.

The Province of Ontario has provided the Dundas Arts Community Foundation with a 1.2 million dollar grant for the Carnegie Library Revitalization project.

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