The Springdale Library is a triangular-shaped single-story building designed by RDH architects. Surrounded by the Komagata Maru Park, The overall structure of the library is made to invite people in and create a community space for the city. The library is built in memory of the incident in 1914, which happened due to discriminatory immigration laws in Canada. Total 376 immigrants of Punjab were refused and sent back to India, just to be slaughtered by the British army. The library symbolises the celebration of multiculturalism and immigration to Canada.
Name: Springdale Library & Komagata Maru Park
Location: Brampton, Ontario, Canada
Architect: RDH Architects
Client/Owner: City of Brampton
Project type: Community, Education
Size: 26,000 sq. feet
The organically shaped site is situated in a suburban area of Brampton. Previously, it was used as farmland.
The site has a commercial plaza on the east. On the west and north side, there is a ravine creating a green corridor and a background to the library. The major road, such as Bramalea road to the south side, gives access to the entrance to the premises.
Positioning of the structure
The structure has gained its shape due to the organic perimeter of the site. Architects had taken care that the Springdale Library building is close to the street in order to display the facade and attract attention and crowd toward this community space. It lives out in a large chunk of area for the park. The remaining area in the rear of the site (near the commercial plaza) occupies parking. Such selection of the position also helps to showcase the green view of the ravine from the internal area of the library.
There is a buffer of reflecting pools and a footpath between the structure and the main road.
The overall plan of the Springdale Library is triangular. The structure has three major parts: the children’s area, a study space, and a community room. Apart from that, there are sections like lobby, lounge, group meeting rooms, maker’s space lab, tech and audio room recording room, classrooms, etc.
The roofscape is an intriguing part of interior planning. The most attractive feature of the Springdale library, the green mound jutting the middle of the plan, actually creates an oculus-like structure from the inside (13 feet wide).
There is one more such structure in the children’s area. The oculi-shaped structures are not just a showpiece; it creates a half-enclosed space. The sky visible through the skylight and green carpet on the floor gives off the feeling of shelter. Without reducing or dividing the actual floor area, cosy space is created. It also helps in natural light ventilation, and its material minimises the noise.
5000 sq. ft community spaces are designed to be used flexibly for meetings, as a lounge, or as a rental space for events like birthday parties.
The landscape and Komagata Marupark-
The landscape weaving uniformly with structure is a crucial aspect of this project. The green roof goes in coordination with the topography around the site. The mound of the green roof gives height to the otherwise flat-roofed single-story structure.
The Komagata Maru park is situated on the northwest side. The users are taken into account while designing the Komagata Maru park. There is a splash pad and play area for children. The 5-meter tall letters from the word ‘imagine’ are scattered around the play area. The assembly of letters in horizontal and vertical planes creates interesting spaces for children to play. For older people, there are terraced gardens to enjoy the view and interact.
The facade of the building is mostly glass (70%) with ceramic frit patterns creating the facade, designed to avoid unnecessary solar heat gain. Another intention of this white to grey colour frits design is to depict the pages of the book.
The vertical composition of the glazed facade goes hand in hand with the thin steel columns supporting the canopy roof. These steel columns going around the courtyard are symbolic interpretations of tree trunks in the forest.
The aluminum curtain wall and floor to ceiling windows act as a membrane between the courtyard and interior of Springdale Library. The stainless steel columns support the thin stainless steel roof over the canopy.
The retrained colour palette introduces calmness and clarity much needed in spaces like the library to concentrate.
The ceiling contours create an interesting effect in the interior. The globe pendant light and LED used for artificial lightning complement the ocular and dome-shaped skylight in the ceiling.
The perforated drywall ceiling is made to absorb sound. All the necessary mechanical articles are concealed in the ceiling. The white texture paint of the ceiling helps to reflect and spread the light in the library, illuminating the large area with natural light. Floors are in grey polished concrete in some areas.
With the help of a view seen from long windows, the green carpet in the interior of the children’s area gives the sense of being near to nature. The transparent glazed partition allows the visual connection while few walls are black painted glass.
The Springdale Library & Komagata Maru Park is designed and constructed while targeting the LEED Golden certificate. There are several strategies used to obtain the level of quality:
- Greywater system
- Geothermal heating and cooling
- Solar responsive windows. The space between the white and grey shaded striated patterns expands and contracts as per the orientation of the sun, thus reducing the solar heat gain.
- Use of natural lighting in the library. The oculus skylights, big windows, white-coloured roofscape helps to keep all the areas of the library well lit.
- Electric car charging stations at the parking area.
- A green roof that morphs with the landscape around the structure.
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Canadian Architect. (2020). Governor General’s Medal Winner: The Springdale Library & Komagata Maru Park. [online] Available at: https://www.canadianarchitect.com/the-springdale-library-komagata-maru-park/ [Accessed 10 Jul. 2021].
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