The Town of New Tecumseth is comprised of three vibrant urban centres, Alliston, Beeton and Tottenham. The Tottenham Branch Library will relocate into a new larger building as an extension of the existing Tottenham Recreation and Fitness Centre. The location of the addition, it’s connection to the existing facility and its complementary architectural form are the principal design challenges.

The challenge was to design an extremely efficient building that would work in concert with the existing building, which has a very idiosyncratic form. Owner objectives included a 50 to 100 year life span, inexpensive operation and low maintenance. To this end, the walls are ICF (Insulated Concrete Forms) from footing to eave providing high insulation values.

The new Library is envisioned as a separate building connected to the rear entrance of the existing facility with a glazed link. This maximizes natural light and ventilation and creates exterior courtyard spaces for activities ranging from reading to yoga. The sloped roof design is inspired by the existing but is in the opposite direction optimizing light exposure and opportunities for future solar panels or green roof installation.

A central corridor connecting the existing building to the Great Hall is the principal organizing feature. Surrounding the Great Hall are the Adult Library space and Children’s / Teen’s Library space. The large open concept space of the Adult Library Area allows flexibility and adaptability over time. Ample exterior glazing provides generous natural lighting and views. Individual study stations and seating areas are distributed around the perimeter taking advantage of the views and light to provide a variety of study/reading/gathering experiences. The collection stacks control flow and enhance smaller spaces within the larger environment.

The Children’s / Teen’s Library Area faces the South Courtyard. This large room is also an adaptable open concept space with the Teen collection to the north and Children’s collection to the south. The south east corner has a child sized amphitheater for Children’s Story Time with a view to the south courtyard.