Library Design: “A New Chapter for University of Toronto’s Brutalist Behemoth Fort Book”
From The Globe and Mail:
The hulking pile sometimes known as Fort Book looms over the U of T campus like a sci-fi version of a medieval castle. From one angle it resembles a strutting turkey made from Lego blocks. Its dull concrete walls admit light grudgingly through tall slit windows. Instead of a grand main entrance, it has several, some reached by trudging up wide stone staircases. Inviting it is not.
A new wing aims to change that. The Robarts Commons adds five storeys of light-bathed study and meeting space to the old fort.
With pandemic restrictions easing, the library decided to give students a little treat and unveil the addition this week, while the finishing touches were still being applied. The doors opened at 8:30 on Thursday morning. Early birds started trickling in, looking a bit agog as they explored.
What they found was quite marvellous. Visitors enter by way of a new plaza flanked by cherry trees. Inside are 1,200 new study spots: some at facing desks; others on descending steps; others lined up against a huge glass wall; still others in chairs arranged in conversation circles. The look is all warm oak and grey carpet.
About Gary Price
Gary Price (email@example.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com.