February 2022


In our February issue

How can we scale-up sustainable design? A recent project in BC offers some answers. The Clayton Community Centre in Surrey, designed by hcma Architecture + Design, is North America’s largest Passive House certified non-residential building. It was a strategy that required intense coordination between client, contractor, and architect. “With Passive House, you’re either 100-percent-in, or you’re not Passive House,” says hcma principal Melissa Higgs. “It has a ton of operational and spatial implications, so it required the client team to be really collaborative.”

On a smaller scale, making the most of existing buildings is one of our key strategies for limiting the embedded carbon footprint of construction. We’ve rounded up three libraries that take this tact.

The John Muir Library, by studio g+G, adaptively reuses a heritage fire hall and stable in Windsor, Ontario. Architect Jason Grossi paid meticulous attention to the heritage value of the property: from using site-sourced sand for an accurate mortar match, to restoring the hose tower as a luminous lookout for library visitors.

Further east in Ontario, Lebel & Bouliane’s Clearview Library creates a light-filled addition to a small-town Ontario arena. A dynamic use of windows—including west-facing clerestories, large north-facing glazing, and three bold south-facing light monitors—steeps the interior with natural light.

In Winnipeg, Public City Architecture’s Cornish Library is a modest addition that engages a difficult urban condition—with a high end neighbourhood to one side, and unhoused people sleeping under the bridge to the other side.

As the omicron wave subsides, the future of workplace design is also on our minds. Lokaal, a co-working space owned and operated by Dubbeldam Architecture + Design (and located just above their own office in Toronto) offers insights into the kind of “third space” that might be needed post-pandemic.

Finally, we pay homage to architect Eb Zeidler and the legacy of bold architecture that he left after his passing this January, a few days shy of his 96th birthday.

Elsa Lam, Editor