Proposed Design Concepts for New Main Branch Library

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3D draft design of the exterior of a Gothic Revival-style building with modern addition.

Thank you for participating! Consultation has now closed.


The County of Brant Public Library invites the public to provide feedback on proposed draft design concepts of the exterior and interior spaces of the new Main Branch Library, located at 13 Burwell Street in Paris, Ontario. The site is currently home to the Paris Old Town Hall (now known as the Bawcutt Centre) and features one of Canada's oldest civic Gothic Revival-style buildings.

Project overview

The building of the new Main Branch Library is a project guided by a Steering Group composed of Library Board members and the Bawcutt Centre Advisory Committee. In October 2022, the award-winning architecture firm, DPAI Architecture Inc., was chosen to develop designs for the project and oversee the full restoration of the Gothic Revival-style building and its Opera Hall.

Further to restoring the site's current structure, a bright and modern addition will feature library services for all age groups. A landscaped exterior will offer public green space for outdoor use and public enjoyment.

Public open house

  • Proposed 3D renderings were presented by the project Steering Group and DPAI Architecture Inc. at a public open house on February 6, 2023.
  • A presentation video is available on this webpage and to the right (under the 'Videos' tab). The presentation is also available on the Library's YouTube channel at brantlibrary.ca/Youtube
  • All proposed 3D renderings can be viewed on this webpage and to the right (under the 'Photos' tab). Designs are also available to view on our website at brantlibrary.ca/NewMainBranch.

Engage with us!

The County of Brant Public Library encourages public feedback on the presented draft design concepts. You are invited to leave your feedback and questions below.

Thank you for participating! Consultation has now closed.


The County of Brant Public Library invites the public to provide feedback on proposed draft design concepts of the exterior and interior spaces of the new Main Branch Library, located at 13 Burwell Street in Paris, Ontario. The site is currently home to the Paris Old Town Hall (now known as the Bawcutt Centre) and features one of Canada's oldest civic Gothic Revival-style buildings.

Project overview

The building of the new Main Branch Library is a project guided by a Steering Group composed of Library Board members and the Bawcutt Centre Advisory Committee. In October 2022, the award-winning architecture firm, DPAI Architecture Inc., was chosen to develop designs for the project and oversee the full restoration of the Gothic Revival-style building and its Opera Hall.

Further to restoring the site's current structure, a bright and modern addition will feature library services for all age groups. A landscaped exterior will offer public green space for outdoor use and public enjoyment.

Public open house

  • Proposed 3D renderings were presented by the project Steering Group and DPAI Architecture Inc. at a public open house on February 6, 2023.
  • A presentation video is available on this webpage and to the right (under the 'Videos' tab). The presentation is also available on the Library's YouTube channel at brantlibrary.ca/Youtube
  • All proposed 3D renderings can be viewed on this webpage and to the right (under the 'Photos' tab). Designs are also available to view on our website at brantlibrary.ca/NewMainBranch.

Engage with us!

The County of Brant Public Library encourages public feedback on the presented draft design concepts. You are invited to leave your feedback and questions below.

Feedback

We want to know what you think! 

Feel free to leave ideas and feedback here. If you have questions, please leave them in the Question section.

Consultation has concluded
CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.

The design of the new additions should not steer your attention away from the main building. I think using materials like black metal cladding and red brick would do just that. Using as much glass as possible for the addition would not only make the inside of the space feel open and airy, but it would also complement the main building. The additions should be LEED certified and include natural elements such as a living wall. Inside, an area should be dedicated to educating visitors about the history of the building including its gothic revival architecture and its many uses over the years. In terms of parking, I would consider how the spaces might be misused - given the number of tourists we see in the downtown and the lack of parking available in the summer months. Very happy to see this gem of a building saved and adaptive reuse being implemented! Cannot wait to see the end result! :)

Mel52 about 1 year ago

Hi,
Looking forward to the new library in Paris.
It would be great if we have e-learning access to online course services such as LinkedIn learning, Udemy, Gale courses…and so on like we have in Hamilton or Toronto public libraries.

Sathiya about 1 year ago

Hi,
Would there be any library access card/account for residents to access learning resources online from home/outside library? Would like to know more about the digital learning offerings that are being proposed.

Dinesh about 1 year ago

Hi, it would be nice if there was a coffee shop in the library, perhaps one with a separate entrance so it can be open even if the library is closed. Multi-use spaces can help the library be better utilized.

Rob Schaafsma about 1 year ago

The County has established a 2050 goal of being net carbon neutral, and this building will most likely still be in operation. The SD presentation demonstrates that the Steering Group set no sustainability goals with the design team. This project, along with future buildings being funded through the County should incorporate a set of sustainability goals. For this specific project, it is recommended that the Steering Group incorporate the CaGBC Zero Carbon Building Standard (performance or design). This standard does a great job of establishing energy use intensity targets, addressing embodied carbon, and formalizing a transition plan if the project must proceed with fossil fuels (i.e. natural gas).

I strongly believe that the design team assembled can make this transition and incorporate this design standard into this project.

There was mention of geothermal being considered for this project. Though site logistics are tight, the site is not located with a Wellhead Protection Area (WHPA) or an intake protection zone. This presents a great opportunity to utilize a product that is proven and can help reduce GHG emissions for this project. If geothermal is proven to be not feasible, it should be duly noted in the DD presentation or at the CD stage.

Jmansfield over 1 year ago

For a new building that is to keep up to the growing use. Would it not make sense to put in full floors? You can still have the large windows to feel open ,but have useable floor space. and have a glassed wall to see the old building. The open space and glass walk way is not good use for the square footage. You want to maximize all the space and make it visually appealing as well.

bp over 1 year ago

Not enough parking for functions other than the library. Syl Apps would be a better location for a convention centre.
Poor access points. Traffic is already chaotic.
Noise and traffic and parking concerns for local residents and businesses.
Balcony on new structure facing Dumfries impinges on the privacy of neighbours.
Will there be noise curfews for weddings etc.
Not enough parking for large functions, which will spill out onto an already congested neighbourhood.
Don’t compare this to Toronto. They have large city parking lots and a mass transit system. I lived there for 22 years. You cannot conflate this bedroom community with a city of 3 million.

Rick over 1 year ago

@AmyMesereau - we believe we can fit 37 spaces on the site and have proposed an option to add 29 spaces underground for a total of 66 parking spaces if budget allows. The Opera Hall/performance space will have a capacity of approx. 150 people. Thanks for your question. Regards, Kelly Bernstein

Kelly Bernstein over 1 year ago

We would love a larger space for children’s programs. The Christmas craft night was a lot of fun we hope to see those again with some more space. Also to be used for other programs offered in the summer as well as a tech/coding space.

Mel23 over 1 year ago

I'm wondering how many parking spots are included in this design? If there is an opera hall, what is the capacity of this space and where will they all park? As a resident of Dumfries st, I know street parking is already difficult at night.

Amy Mersereau over 1 year ago