Dufferin/St. Clair Library

Toronto, Ontario

Dufferin/St. Clair Library, built in 1921, endured several interventions, including the painting over of famous wall murals and a stark concrete and stucco addition. The design challenge was to transform this unnoticed repository for books into a lively neighborhood hub with a new identity. This was expressed through three ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONCOST PER SQ FT$232.00FEATURED IN2010 Educational InteriorsINTERIOR CATEGORYLibraries/Media Centers concepts:

•Reflection: New glass walls offer unobstructed views into renovated spaces. Natural light penetrates the library and establishes a welcoming interior. Through transparency, the library has become a direct reflection of its neighborhood.

•Restoration: The building exterior was repaired, and a new stair replaced an obtrusive concrete stair and ramp. Inside, the murals painted by Canadian artists Reid and McCarthy were restored.

•Revitalization: At night, it becomes a beacon with its engaging and brightly lighted facades. A new community room provides views into the reading court. A new interior ramp provides safe, all-weather access. The adult wing is surrounded by murals, and the children’s wing is animated to spark imagination and encourage reading.

The result is a public-friendly interior, promoting the services it offers and providing the community with a sense of "pride in place."