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New Toronto library features a swooping roof and a media suite

The new public library is a 'maker-space' dedicated to community engagement and learning

A dynamic, swooping library recently opened on the northern outskirts of Toronto in the city of Vaughan as part of a municipal campus and has already welcomed a record number of visitors. Designed by Canada-based international firm ZAS Architects, the Vaughan Civic Centre Public Resource Library is an impressive glass and aluminum-clad building with an elongated and curved pentagonal floor plan and a sweeping roofline inspired by a nearby rollercoaster.

The 36,000-square-foot, two-story public structure is dedicated to community learning, gathering, creating, and celebration, with the space looking both "outward and inward" and arranging itself around a green central courtyard. In order to make the building more approachable for pedestrians walking by it (and to reduce glare and solar gain), glazing was limited to the lower floor and set in smaller panels. Aluminum panels make up the top level of the exterior and are sent in a slanted, geometric pattern and create a sawtooth effect where it meets the glass.

The interiors are colorfully decorated and illuminated by natural light, with lounge seating, areas for socializing, and individual study nooks set around the perimeter for maximum light and indoor-outdoor views. The glass and aluminum of the building’s facade also creates a playful, ever-changing dance of light in the layered interior throughout the day.

Aside from standard library amenities like moveable stacks, a study hall, children’s and teen zones, a computer center, meeting rooms, and a cafe, the library also boasts "maker-space" facilities, including 3D printers, a media suite, sound recording studio, video studio, and a green screen.