New Sudbury Public Library

Project Type
civic institutional
Project Size
9,000 SF
Completion Date
Sudbury, Ontario

The branch library of 9,000sf is located along a busy arterial street. The civic significance of the library is reflected by positioning the building close to the street and creating a transparent corner.. This allows the public to see into the library and the users to connect visually to the street.

The sharp forms at the main entrance anticipate the dynamic effect of the light in the building, the business of the street and the constant flow of users in the building.

Open interior planning accommodates a wide variety of functional programming and anticipates technological growth and change.

Key Features

Siting of the building provides a public space along an arterial corridor of the city that is otherwise dominated by commercial activities. The project anticipates future growth of the facility.
Architectural Elements
Architectural elements including roofs, canopies, trellises, glass, walls, entries, shape spaces to provide comfortable, accommodating environments for users.

Services Rendered


Planning parameters for the library included the following

  • Hit the budget ($1.3M) and gross floor area targets (9,000sf).
  • House current collection and functions and allow for 10 year growth.
  • Provide maximum flexibility for change in collection, services and technologies.
  • Provide spaces that support public uses: quiet study, meeting room, children’s area, computer room.
  • Meet accessibility standards and provide quality work environment.
  • Provide a high profile, welcoming image supported by natural light, warm materials and appropriate signage.


  • The design reflects a strategic, limited palate of gestures playing against a simple box; a curve in plan, a sloped roof, a sun screen at the south windows and series of triangular elements are repeated; the entry canopy and the concrete planter retaining walls.
  • The interior space is organized by a curved wall. The arc organizes service functions on the inside of the curve and together with the main entrance establishes the location of the circulation desk. Sitting, reading, study activities and functions are pushed to edges of the building. A secondary wall element, curved in elevation organizes the community room and children’s area. A large scale mural – jungle scene created by local artist Ray Laporte animates the children’s area. Space at the perimeter of the building have low ceilings, the central area has a high slope ceiling with natural clerestory windows to bring in natural light.

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