Located in West Queen West, this idea exchange library serves as the bridge and hub between two neighbourhoods. Adhering to the values each districts has, this building aims to cultivate a communal and shared experience for any visitor, regardless of their reason to visit. The library is programmed to serve the public first —providing access to research and training, as well as innovation through open maker spaces. This encourages people of different backgrounds and ages to interact with one another and build a cohesive environment through that. Inspired by the lattice and framework of synthetic fabrics, its structure is threaded by one another —in this case, the book stacks — covey this overlap and thread all the other programs, thus tying the building into one. This is expressed through the use of a shifted atrium and voids, which host the space for books, yet serve as the backdrop of the other programs that amplify parkdale’s community.
Final Schematic Design   —
Queen St. West & Parkdale

1187 Queen St. West and the neighborhood around it are both unique in many aspects. After analyzing and researching the site it is clear that many things in the urban design follow both the heritage of West Queen West and Parkdale village by densifying and intensifying certain spaces, but also by “breaking the mold” through bringing new and exciting things to the city.

It is a beautiful neighborhood admired by many both for its built and its natural context. Sun and vegetation are plentiful while it also offers a range of public-private, commercial-residential, and traditional – modern variations of constructions
The site is near the Dufferin Street Bridge which through time has naturally become a threshold between two neighborhoods: Parkdale and West Queen West. The former is one of the few remaining “villages” of the city; It is surrounded by low to mid-rise buildings and a strong community bond. The latter is steadily being engulfed into a part of downtown Toronto, with historical landmarks, mid to highrise structures and a plethora of public circulation.

All in all, 1187 Queen St. West and its surrounding context have carefully become part of the city as a whole.

The site has gone through many changes throughout the years, starting off as a rundown section of a city that was facing an increasingly dark issue since the 1960s, to a artistic multicultural center with many different types of buildings and people while not letting its roots be forgotten.

To respect West Queen West’s art community, the library shines light on its graffiti culture. The North louvers display the art in calligraffiti through its perforations, blending the graphic style with traditional calligraphy.

The facade’s louvers act as lighting elements that cater towards West Queen West’s night life, responding to Gladestone Hotel’s corner.

Toronto Metropolitan Department of  Architectural Science Toronto, CA.