June 22, 2009
by Canadian Architect
Toronto architecture firm Levitt Goodman Architects in association with the Kitchener-based Walter
Fedy Partnership and Phillip H Carter Architect has received approval from Kitchener City Council for the renovation and expansion of the Kitchener Public Library and the accompanying Civic District Parking Garage. All new construction will target LEED Gold certification.
The $24.9-million library will include the complete renovation of the existing facility along with the design and construction of a 25,000-square-foot addition. The project also includes an $18.5-million, three-level underground parking garage that will service the entire Civic District. The new library aims to enhance the lives of residents as a centre for information, imagination and community that will contribute to the economic and cultural life of the city. The parking garage will alleviate the parking deficiency in the area and provide a platform for a future public square.
The project will proceed under the direction of Janna Levitt, principal-in-charge, and David Warne, project architect, both of Levitt Goodman. The library will remain open during the construction period, which is expected to commence in 2010, with a projected completion date in 2013.
The Levitt Goodman-led team was selected for the project because of its design ability, its longstanding commitment to Kitchener Public Library, and its recognition that this project will play a central role in the future of the region as a cultural destination. Levitt Goodman has authored the past three feasibility studies for KPL and participated in the Civic District design charrettes. Other Levitt Goodman projects include the Waterloo Regional Children’s Museum and the University of Waterloo School of Architecture. Phillip Carter has successfully overseen over 50 libraries including renovations to over 25 Toronto Public Library branches. The Walter Fedy Partnership will provide expertise in parking garage design, LEED, mechanical, electrical and structural engineering and has a history of local civic projects.
According to Janna Levitt, “This is an incredible opportunity for us as designers – we look forward to engaging with the community and building a place that will enhance Kitchener’s growing reputation for creative innovation.” Dan Carli, chair of the KPL Board declared, “Levitt Goodman and their associates demonstrated a clear understanding of a public library’s unique design needs.” He added, “A public library is not just a warehouse of books. It is a community place where people gather to learn, share, listen and be heard. Such a place requires not only an innovative design, but also one that takes into consideration the community it serves. Levitt Goodman and the team they have assembled were a unanimous choice.”