Cornell Community Centre and Branch Library
Town of Markham
Cornell, Ontario, Canada
Square Footage: 125,000
LEED Silver Certified
2013 IIDA Best of Year Awards, Honoree
2014 IIDA 41st Annual Interior Design Competition Winner
2014 PRO Awards - Excellence in Design
2014 IES Lighting Award, Toronto Section
2014 Athletic Business, Facility of Merit Award
Connected to the existing Markham-Stouffville Hospital, the Cornell Community Centre + Library is at the heart of a newly integrated healthcare campus that establishes a dynamic new urban precinct for the surrounding neighborhood. Incorporating innovative spaces and programs that combine cultural, educational and therapy functions with more traditional recreation, leisure and library services, the building offers a groundbreaking new model of service delivery and community wellness.
Conceptually the building is designed as a ‘campus within a campus’ that brings together a large community center and branch library, a parking structure and district energy plant. The overall massing of the building is expressed as a series of clearly defined brick volumes aligned with each of the major functions, in an effort to reduce its overall scale and keep with the surrounding ‘new urbanist’ neighborhood. This is further enhanced by a series of colonnades and generous canopy elements that encourage pedestrian movement and tie the various buildings and public spaces together compositionally. Punched with large windows with inset copper frames and colored glass, the building takes on a distinctly modern reading with a strong emphasis on transparency and function. Internally a dramatic sky-lit lobby with generous viewing areas, seating areas, and a café acts as the main thoroughfare from which all of the major activities and uses can be seen, encouraging a wide range of informal interaction among Markham’s diverse residents.