Ontario awards celebrate best in new library design

Bold transformation, new technologies and a commitment to the elimination of barriers are just a few aspects the recipients of the 2018 Library Architectural and Design Transformation Award were judged upon. The award presentation were made at the Annual Institute on the Library as Place signature event on July 12, 2018. The OLA Library Architectural and Design Transformation Award encourages and showcases excellence in additions, renovations, restorations, conversion to library use, and interior redesign and refurnishing in the architectural design of libraries in Ontario.

 “The design and renovation of library spaces in Ontario take into account the evolving nature of libraries,” said Shelagh Paterson, Executive Director of OLA. “Students and community members use these spaces to collaborate on projects, to experiment with digital technologies, and to make use of a vast array of resources. We think it is important to honour the effort and expertise in transforming these vital spaces.”

 The Ontario Library Association (OLA) is pleased to announce three recipients and one honourable mention of the 2018 Library Architectural and Design Transformation Award:

 Conestoga College Library, MMMC ArchitectsOLA

From the jury: “Strategically planned to support the diverse learning styles of today’s students and guided by the principles of universal design, the new library gives students a choice of different types of study spaces: defined by glazed walls; easily identified by large, colourful, window-film signage; fitted with noise-baffling solutions; and powered to support the use of digital collections and new technologies…The Conestoga Library Revitalization project is an excellent example of creative re-imagining, thoughtful re-visioning, and bold transformation of a college library within an existing footprint and existing campus infrastructure. It is no surprise the new library is the ‘go-to’ place on campus!”

 Ryerson University Library, Gow Hastings ArchitectsOLA

From the jury: “The dynamic, diverse nature of the collection – television, movie cameras, costuming, and traditional archival material is now reflected by the redesigned space. It pops and marks this as a destination space on campus. The Collaboratory and Maker Space blend together to form a magnetic hub that bristles with energy and creativity.”

 Innisfil ideaLAB & Library, Lakeshore Branch, Shoalts and Zaback Architects Ltd.OLA

From the jury: “The Innisfil Public Library Idea Lab has morphed a serviceable library into a trendsetting hub of community excitement and pride. The abundance of glass eliminates barriers inviting the community in and minimizes the transition from inside to out including access to a beautiful courtyard. The addition to the Lakeshore Branch of Innisfil Library is transformational and a worthy recipient of the OLA Library Building Award.”

Honourable Mention: Wellington County Library, Palmerston Branch, Grinham ArchitectsOLA

From the jury: “Wellington County and Grinham Architects faced a daunting task – the restoration of an iconic Carnegie Library that had suffered the ravages of nature, time, and man. It appears they met with ‘surprises’ at every turn but the end result of their efforts is a building the residents of Palmerston can use and cherish for another one hundred years.”

The OLA salutes our recipients’ dedication to meeting the demand for multi-functional library buildings that serve the needs of their communities and organizations.

 The call for applications for the OLA Library Building Awards, New Library Building category will be open February 2019.

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