After serving the largely immigrant population of the Rexdale neighborhood nonstop since 1972, Toronto Public Library’s Albion branch needed a major upgrade. Perkins + Will, agreeing to take on the project at a reduced fee, started by leading focus groups to assess the community’s needs.
The sentiment? Don’t do anything at all. “We would rather you left it as it is, because we use it every day,” principal and design director Andrew Frontini recalls being told. So it was decided that the existing library would stay open during the construction of a bigger, better one—a feat made possible by commandeering half of a parking lot that was needlessly large, given that only 20 percent of patrons arrive