Perkins+Will’s Albion Library a sole Canadian winner at AIA COTE

Yesterday, the American Institute of Architects (AIA) revealed the winners of the 2018 COTE Top Ten Projects Awards, which are granted by the AIA’s Committee on the Environment. “Each year, the program recognizes 10 projects that integrate design excellence and environmental performance, with one winner being elevated to COTE Top Ten Plus—an indication of exemplary proven energy performance and post-occupancy lessons,” Architect Magazine’s Katie Gerfen explains.Albion Library, Perkins+Will Canada, AIA COTE Top Ten

This year, Toronto’s Albion Library is among the COTE Top Ten Projects winners. Designed by Perkins+Will Canada, the jury celebrated the building’s contribution to the social fabric of the Rexdale corner of Kipling and Albion. This project clearly demonstrates the immediate positive impact of good design. A district library that serves a diverse and newly-immigrant community, the library has a dramatically increased visitorship (with a notable 75 percent increase for teenagers) over the old facility,” the jury states.Albion Library, Perkins+Will Canada, AIA COTE Top Ten

The Albion library was also reviewed in our November 2017 issue, where John Lorinc described the new 29,000 square foot public facility as a place that  “emphasizes light, transparency, natural materials and a warm, harvest-like colour palette that extends from the extruded glazed terra cotta slats on the street-facing facade into the three interior courtyards.”Albion Library, Perkins+Will Canada, AIA COTE Top Ten

Alongside the new library, a reconfigured surface parking lot also provides a more urban and community-friendly alternative to the sprawling surface lots that dot Toronto’s suburbs. “The landscaping will feature multi-hued grey brick pavers, natural species plantings and pathways so the space can be transformed into an urban plaza for community events,” Lorinc wrote last year.

In addition to the COTE Top Ten Projects award conferred upon the Albion Public Library, Perkins+Will Canada picked up a 2018 AIA Education Facility Design Award for the Kawartha Trades and Technology Centre in Peterborough, Ontario. As with the firm’s COTE Top Ten Award, the project was the only Canadian winner in the category. A full list of the COTE Top Ten winners is available via the AIA’a Architect Magazine, linked here.