Important Step Forward in Transformation of Trent University’s Iconic Bata Library

February 2, 2016

Perkins + Will selected to transition Trent’s Bata Library into modern learning hub at heart of Symons campus

Perkins + Will selected to transition Trent’s Bata Library into modern learning hub at heart of Symons campus

Trent University’s Bata Library is one step closer to becoming a more modern and dynamic learning hub, following the official selection of architecture and design firm, Perkins + Will, to oversee the creation of new collaborative study spaces and innovative services in the iconic library on Trent’s Symons Campus in Peterborough.

“This is an important step in the transformation of the Bata Library into a modern, people-centred learning hub – a library of the future,” said Robert Clarke, University Librarian. “The space plan that Perkins + Will produces will help us create a vibrant and exciting environment for research and discovery. Trent University, and its library, are defined by world-class research, and education and 21st century research, teaching and learning require new spaces, services and resources.”

Perkins + Will, the same firm that led the expansion and renewal of the state-of-the-art Trent Athletics Centre in 2010, won the contract after an extensive bidding process and will be working with library staff, students, faculty, alumni and other stakeholders to build on the 2014 Strategic Plan for the library, which outlines direction to support teaching and learning, create spaces for collaboration and learning, enable research and scholarship and build partnerships. The space renewal plan will determine how the library can realize its vision for:

  • Project rooms for collaborative work
  • Small group study pods
  • A discovery centre for student research and innovation
  • The digital preservation of special collections and resources
  • An active learning classroom
  • A space for Trent University’s Centre for Teaching and Learning and other academic services
  • Study and meeting space for graduate students and faculty
  • Renewed spaces for the Archives and for the Maps, Data and Government Information Centre

“Trent’s donors, whether they be alumni, staff and faculty, or friends of the University, want to ensure our students receive the very best education. An investment in the library, the intellectual heart of the campus, will help to fulfill that goal,” said Julie Davis, vice-president of Advancement and External Relations.

The announcement of Perkins + Will’s successful bid in the library transformation project, follows on the heels of a recent $1 million gift to the library from long-time Trent supporters David and Joan Moore. The multi-million library renewal project is a key initiative in Trent University’s $50 Million Campaign: Unleash the Potential. Other key projects in the campaign include fundraising for the construction of the student centre, increasing student assistance, investing in the interactive learning environment of the Colleges, and supporting world class research. Learn more at

The Bata Library is an iconic example of the modernist architecture of Ron Thom. Planning for the redesign and renovation of the library will pay close attention to Thom’s original design features and concept as a light-filled structure. The Perkins + Will Functional Space Plan is expected by mid-April and will consider input received during the strategic planning process as well as user groups conducted over the next few months. Work will proceed in stages as funds are available.

About Trent University

One of Canada's top universities, Trent University was founded on the ideal of interactive learning that's personal, purposeful and transformative. Consistently recognized nationally for leadership in teaching, research and student satisfaction, Trent attracts excellent students from across the country and around the world. Here, undergraduate and graduate students connect and collaborate with faculty, staff and their peers through diverse communities that span residential colleges, classrooms, disciplines, hands-on research, co-curricular and community-based activities. Across all disciplines, Trent brings critical, integrative thinking to life every day. Today, Trent's unique approach to personal development through supportive, collaborative community engagement is in more demand than ever. Students lead the way by co-creating experiences rooted in dialogue, diverse perspectives and collaboration. In a learning environment that builds life-long passion for inclusion, leadership and social change, Trent's students, alumni, faculty and staff are engaged global citizens who are catalysts in developing sustainable solutions to complex issues. Trent's Peterborough campus boasts award-winning architecture in a breathtaking natural setting on the banks of the Otonabee River, just 90 minutes from downtown Toronto, while Trent University Durham delivers a distinct mix of programming in the east GTA.

About Perkins + Will

Perkins + Will is an interdisciplinary, research-based architecture and design firm with over 30 years’ experience. It currently has a staff of 175 in offices across Canada, and over 1800 in offices worldwide. The Toronto office of Perkins + Will has an extensive portfolio of academic libraries and learning centres, including: McMaster University Libraries Master Plan; Murray Library Master Plan, University of Saskatchewan; Rush Rhees Library Master Plan, University of Rochester; Archives and Special Collections Renovation and Expansion, University of Guelph; Hazel McCallion Academic Learning Centre and Library, University of Toronto Mississauga; and E.J. Pratt Library, Victoria University, University of Toronto.

For more information contact:

Kate Weersink, media relations & strategic communications officer, Trent University, (705) 748-1011 x6180 or

If you no longer wish to receive news releases and advisories from Trent University, please email to unsubscribe. Accessible versions of this document are available upon request at