Architectural design firm Perkins + Will showcased its nearly completed plan to bring Trent University’s Bata Library into the future – while still retaining the structure’s heritage.
An open house was held Thursday in the library to show off the upcoming, year-long renovation plans.
Safdar Abidi, principal for the firm, said there were two “compelling” yet “in some ways opposing” parts of the renovation designs.
“One is a very future focused and change-based driver,” Abidi said. “The other driver is how do you preserve the architecture and character of the building?”
The Thomas J. Bata library was designed by Ron Thom, an architect who imagined many of the buildings throughout the university. The library was built between 1967 and October 1969.
Abidi explained that materials were an important element of the original design for the library.
“The exposed concrete is a very distinct Ron Thom expression of architecture. As architects we love it because it’s a very honest expression of material,” he said. “Wood has also been used in a very particular way.”
Abidi also said the red and green colours were part of the buildings heritage and would be reused during the renovation.
The architect stood in the courtyard near the entrance to the library and gestured up to the glass roof of the soon to be redesigned library.
“The central atrium is a stunning feature of the library, and the light it brings in,” Abidi said.
But the most important structural element of the building’s heritage was its geometry and the views it creates on all sides of the library, said the designer.
“In our redesign we’ve tried to maximize views and…
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