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Bata: Library of the Future

Person walking through new library

Bata: Library of the Future

Design Response to Key Heritage Attributes

A list of heritage attributes for the Bata Library was established within the Cultural Heritage Evaluation Report. The proposed transformation does not affect each attribute, although all were considered during the design process. Any modification that addresses a key heritage attribute has been carefully assessed and reviewed by the Perkins+Will design team, the University and ARA/AREA, the Heritage consultants.

The following is a list of the key attributes and the corresponding measures that will be taken to respect these attributes during the transformation:

A List of Bata Library Heritage Attributes & the Corresponding Measures

Attribute Design Response
4 storey height No impact or adjustments to the height
Flat cantilevered roof and projections No impact
Square floor plan rotated 90 degrees with triangular projections presenting eight corners The re-planning and insertions of new program respect the ‘pin wheel’ square floor plan. Attention was paid to the continuity of circulation and views that reinforce the square floor plan
Textured exposed rubble aggregate concrete walls  No impact with exception of minor repairs to the existing canopy at the drop off due to spalling concrete and exposed rebar. Repairs will be made to match existing.
Wooden and Concrete overhangs shading the windows on the exterior and cedar trellises Existing cedar trellises will be repaired where possible, with specific sections to be replaced with material to match existing in specie, finish and dimension, if necessary. 
Partly square interior atrium with open stairway lit by skylight  No changes to the square interior atrium. The skylight will be reconstructed following the geometry and dimensions of the existing. 
Alternating rows of wood ceiling tiles in concentric squares around atrium on all levels A custom millwork solution will replicate the wood ceiling tiles in terms of dimensions, species, finish and integration with lighting. The new solution will be suspended by current T-bar framing and rods providing more stability and addressing the current challenge of plenum access. New program insertions into the floor plate may have a contemporary ceiling treatment that complement the original design 

Original wood and glass partition walls

Original partitions that remain will be refurbished. Some original partitions need to be either removed or relocated. New partitions for support programs will be designed to emulate the existing partition details. The program components that support 21st century learning will have a distinctive but respectful articulation of wall, ceiling, glazing and frame elements  

Built in wood study carrels

The majority of carrels remain in place. Those that are removed will be handed over to the University 

Views to and from the Otonabee River

New planning has actually increased the amount of views from the corners of the square plan and restoring the original experience envisioned by Ron Thom

Incorporation of trails and steps along the river

No impact on this attribute

Strip windows with narrow mullions between concrete planes and blocks

With exception of repairing panes with broken seals, there is no impact on this attribute

Interior warm colours and materials

Selection of materials and colours for support programs will be made with an understanding of the original palette. Design team has access to the specified colours and materials. For spaces that support new  spaces and programs the selection will be complementary but legible as a new insertion 

Large pane interior glass enclosure around the atrium on the 3rd and 4th floor

No impact on this attribute

Built in and movable objects designed or chosen by Ron Thom

In the occasion there is an impact on built in cabinets, they will be removed intact, protected and stored by the University. Regarding movable objects the University is continuing to evaluate costs and sources of support to refurbish where possible. These pieces will be removed off site before construction commences.