Colourful strips surround Toronto's Albion Library by Perkins+Will

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Albion Library by Perkins+Will

Colourful strips surround Toronto's Albion Library by Perkins+Will

Multi-coloured bars form the facades of this district library in a Toronto suburb by architecture firm Perkins+Will, which features community areas for new Canadians.

Albion Library by Perkins+Will

The Albion Library is located in the Rexdale neighbourhood to the north-west of the city, where the population is predominantly immigrants, minorities, and low-income residents.

Albion Library by Perkins+Will

"The Albion District Library is one of the most well used of all the Toronto Public Libraries and serves a diverse neighbourhood population," said Perkins+Will.

Albion Library by Perkins+Will

Due to its popularity, the original branch was left open during the construction of the new facility, which was built on the adjacent underused parking lot. The old site is earmarked as a new provision for parking  but with landscaping and a market square.

Albion Library by Perkins+Will

The replacement library building features slatted facades made up of thin terracotta tiles in grey, chartreuse, orange and fuchsia. These panels lift up at the structure's corners to make way for glazed openings and a recessed entrance.

Albion Library by Perkins+Will

At the centre is an atrium, allowing more light into the building and opening views of the sky into the core where a pod of computers are located.

Albion Library by Perkins+Will

Three walled-in courtyards serve as other focal points, providing places for readers to concentrate, and relax.

Albion Library by Perkins+Will

Rooms of various sizes allow members of the community to hold meetings and gatherings, encouraging integration, while individual study and work rooms offer more privacy.

Albion Library by Perkins+Will

At the back is a generous children's area and a computer learning centre, while a "digital innovation and maker space" is equipped with a 3D printer.

Albion Library by Perkins+Will

For the interior design, chairs provide pops of purple, lime and orange. Red and purple rope lights hang from the ceiling, which is covered in wood paneling. Charcoal grey carpeting and sections of wood alternate across the floor.

Albion Library by Perkins+Will

Sustainability is integral to the library's design. The structure has "a sloping green roof [that] will guide rainwater into the adjacent courtyards", said the firm.

Albion Library by Perkins+Will

"The building houses a wide range of services that go beyond traditional book lending to include cultural orientation, social integration, employment skills, and access to technology and knowledge," the team added.

Albion Library by Perkins+Will

Wider interventions across the site include improved, well-lit pedestrian access and a community garden to encourage neighbours to interact.

Photography is by Doublespace.

More images and plans

Albion Library by Perkins+Will
Site and floor plan
Albion Library by Perkins+Will
Structural plan
Albion Library by Perkins+Will
Design plan