The Waterdown Library and Civic Centre

Best of Canada Winner

The Waterdown Library and Civic Centre


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Within its 23,500 square feet, the Waterdown Library and Civic Centre, located in the Waterdown suburb of Hamilton, embraces a public library, archive, recreation rooms and municipal, community and police services outlets.

Perched atop the Niagara Escarpment, the facility exploits its topography by being organized as a split-level building spread over six levels, each of which is accessible by barrier-free walkways with a 1:25 slope (a change of one foot in height per 25 feet of length).

The main reading room sits at the summit and offers striking views of the escarpment and beyond to Lake Ontario.

Sustainable initiatives include a handsomely detailed, glazed curtain wall to maximize daylight; fritted glass and wood fins on the curtain wall as solar-screening devices; recycled material including Douglas fir wall panels and fins salvaged from Hamilton Central Library renovations; locally available and low-V.O.C. materials (materials that don’t emit volatile organic compounds such as benzene, which can irritate mucus membranes); a flowering orchard to shade parking areas; green roofs; and bio-swales in parking lots and green spaces.


RDH Architects


Hamilton, Ont.


Photography: Tom Arban


Carpet: Inerface
Ceiling Panels: Dacoustics
Cladding: BMC Masonry
Concrete: Bondfield
Curtain Wall: Alumicor
Door Hardware: Assa Abloy
Douglas Fir: AllWood
Flashings: Pollard
Flooring: Dinoflex
Foot Grilles: M.W. McGill
Glass: Aerloc
Lighting: Bartco; Bocci; Sistemalux
Lockers: Hadrian
Millwork: AllWood
Roofing: Pollard
Signage: On Land
Skylight: Slimlite Skylights Ontario
Structural Steel: Gensteel
Tile: Dal Tile
Washroom Accessories: Bobrick
Washroom Fixtures: American Sandard


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