Building Magazine


Carleton University library wins design transformation award

The MacOdrum Library at Carleton University in Ottawa has received a 2015 Ontario Library Association (OLA) Library Building Award. The tri-annual program recognizes library architectural and design transformation.

Diamond Schmitt Architects in joint venture with Edward J. Cuhaci and Associates Architects renewed the 1960s-era facility, adding 74,000 square feet of new space and 35,000 square feet of renovated area. An austere façade facing the main Carleton campus that was part of an earlier transformation was removed and the building extended to accommodate new light-filled study space.

Nine new reading rooms allow for visual connection and a free flow of students around a helical mahogany staircase. Innovative study features include a video gaming lab, 3D printers, highly interactive study rooms with large touch-screen monitors and two treadmills with desks where students can study and exercise at the same time.

“Through their partnerships with architectural firms, the award recipients have created wonderful community spaces,” the OLA said in a statement. “The OLA salutes our recipients’ dedication to meeting the demand for multi-functional library buildings that serve the needs of their communities and organizations.”

“We are grateful to the OLA for this award; MacOdrum is the only academic library to be recognized by the program this year,” said Ms. Sydney Browne, Principal, at Diamond Schmitt Architects. “We sought to renew MacOdrum’s role to provide students with a variety of facilities required for today’s interdisciplinary and digitally-driven academic programs, and also to re-establish the library as a vibrant space at the heart of the campus.”

The award was presented at the Annual Institute on Library as Place in Waterloo, Ontario.

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