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  1. ArchDaily
  2. Projects
  3. Library
  4. Canada
  5. RDHA
  6. 2016
  7. The Waterdown Library and Civic Centre / RDHA

The Waterdown Library and Civic Centre / RDHA

  • 13:00 - 16 April, 2017
The Waterdown Library and Civic Centre / RDHA
The Waterdown Library and Civic Centre / RDHA, © Tom Arban
© Tom Arban

© Tom Arban © Tom Arban © Tom Arban © Tom Arban + 55

  • Architects

  • Location

    163 Dundas St E, Hamilton, ON L8N 2Z7, Canada
  • Project Team

    Tyler Sharp (Design Partner), Bob Goyeche (Managing Partner), Sanjoy Pal, Andrew Cranford, Soo-Jin Rim, Ivan Ilic
  • Area

    23500.0 ft2
  • Project Year

    2016
  • Photographs

  • Landscape Architect

    NAK Design
  • Structural Engineers

    WSP / Halsall Ltd.
  • Mechanical / Electrical Engineering

    Jain Associates Ltd.
  • Civil Engineers

    Valdor Engineering Inc.
  • Contractor

    Bondfield Construction
  • Client

    The City of Hamilton and the Hamilton Public Library
  • More Specs Less Specs
© Tom Arban
© Tom Arban

Text description provided by the architects. For the Waterdown Library and Civic Centre, RDHA applied the studio’s practice of customizing off-the-shelf components to create an extraordinary building from ordinary materials. This objective, coupled with the building’s location — on the Niagara Escarpment, a rocky ridge overlooking Lake Ontario — established the impetus for the building’s design. The multi-use facility, which includes a library as well as a heritage society archive, police and municipal community service outlets, and a seniors' recreation centre, unites various demographics in a single building.

© Tom Arban
© Tom Arban

© Tom Arban
© Tom Arban

Throughout, RDHA adapted standard, warrantied systems and materials, allowing for experimentation and tailored architecture, while keeping the budget reasonable and removing the risk from the client. Even the most standard elements such as strip lights were treated with a degree of care that adds elegance.

© Tom Arban
© Tom Arban

The building sits at a high point on an escarpment, where the earth begins to drop down towards to the lake, changing three metres in elevation from this high point to the edge of a main thoroughfare below. The low, linear volume cantilevers out from the slope like a hovering block of dolomitic limestone. Stone slab fins and panels clad the exterior, creating a bold, near-monolithic appearance that is inverted within, where the design team used the geography to establish a plan that is based on a series of accessible, sloping walkways that wind visitors through the library and down to the recreation rooms.

© Tom Arban
© Tom Arban

The internal topography heightens awareness of the surrounding landscape. It reaches its peak in the library,where a series of four terraces step up towards the highest point in the building, demarcated by a path of Douglas fir book stacks. At the top, a large, sky-lit reading atrium provides striking views of the escarpment. Outside, an outdoor reading terrace and a sloping green roof with flowering sedums intensify the connection to the site.

© Tom Arban
© Tom Arban

Within the large, open-concept room, RDHA has carefully carved out intimate spaces and maintained a high degree of control over the finishes and furniture to ensure a cohesive interior environment. The Douglas Firaccents in the entry corridor are recycled material from the now-demolished Hamilton Central Library branch.In the children’s area, the ceiling dips down, creating a space with child-friendly technology and activities, dotted with baby Panton chairs. Quiet study rooms in the larger library have load-bearing, laminated walls made entirely of glass, uncannily supporting seemingly heavy ceilings that block the sound while preserving site lines. The special quality of the branch is underscored by a line of glass-enclosed, ethanol fireplaces, adjacent to a grouping of Paulin Orange Slice and Tulip chairs in ember hues.

© Tom Arban
© Tom Arban

The new library incorporates automatic check-in and return equipment that has allowed frontline staff to focus on programming and increased customer service. Also, the staff now have access to technology while in the staff workroom, enabling their time to become less constrained.

© Tom Arban
© Tom Arban
100 Level Plan
100 Level Plan
© Tom Arban
© Tom Arban

RDHA took similar care with integrating sustainable features. The building has a flowering orchard to shade the parking areas, bio-swales in parking lots and green spaces in conjunction with an underground rainwater collection, and low-VOC, recycled and local materials thoughtfully integrated throughout the design. The Library’s standard metrics were up in every category as of August 2016 over the same period in 2015. Increases in visitors to the branch (150.1%), circulation of library materials (physical: 47.7%; digital: 33.7%), program attendance (220.3%), computer sessions used (103.9%), wireless use (1885.7%) and new library cards generated all saw huge gains. Library customers love that they have such a beautiful place community workspace to call home. Some customers have remarked they were unaware that Waterdown had a branch library before, so the new facility has certainly caught the attention of many new-to-library individuals.

© Tom Arban
© Tom Arban

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Cite: "The Waterdown Library and Civic Centre / RDHA" 16 Apr 2017. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/869134/the-waterdown-library-and-civic-centre-rdha/> ISSN 0719-8884
© Tom Arban

加拿大沃特当图书馆与市民中心 / RDHA事务所设计

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