Canadian Architect


Thier + Curran Architects design North End Free Library in Hamilton

August 1, 2015
by Canadian Architect

The North End Free Library is open and lending books in Hamilton, Ontario. This tactical urbanism intervention is a “take a book, leave a book” gathering place—a civic gesture and public amenity that blurs the lines between public and private. It is about creating community and celebrating literacy in Hamilton’s waterfront North End neighbourhood.

Designed and financed by Hamilton-based TCA / Thier + Curran Architects Inc., the North End Free Library is a simple bench of ipe slats on a sculpted steel frame and a suspended cedar library box with a cast resin window. Embracing the city’s steelmaking heritage, the steel is unfinished and raw, left with all the mill, tool and fab marks and traces, and then clear-coated. Books are imprinted with a custom stamp, designed by TCA.

With tongue firmly in cheek, TCA principal and lead designer Bill Curran says that “this is a unique new building type—a typology to date addressed only by folk artists, hippies, treehuggers, amateur woodworkers and other ‘granola’ civic-minded ne’er-do-wells. It is time that serious, highbrow, bespoke architecture focuses on this emerging building type, and especially since all the starchitects have ignored it (so far).”

The North End Free Library and Public Bench is dedicated to the citizens of Hamilton’s North End neighbourhood and crafted with love.

For more information on Thier + Curran Architects, please visit

Canadian Architect

Canadian Architect

Canadian Architect is a magazine for architects and related professionals practicing in Canada. Canada's only monthly design publication, Canadian Architect has been in continuous publication since 1955.
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1 Comment » for Thier + Curran Architects design North End Free Library in Hamilton
  1. Norah Navin says:

    I want more traffic calming in the North End. As a leader in the community what are you able to do about the speed of the traffic? I am an 80 year old retired teacher who loves living at 506 Bay North but terrified to cross Bay or Wood Streets since I have become slower. Haven’t crossed Bay Street all summer with the fast traffic going west.

    Norah Navin

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