RDHA cyclists formed a corporate team and joined the 2019 Ride for Heart in support of the Heart and Stoke Foundation on Sunday, June 2. Riding 25-km, 50-km and even 75-km along the Gardiner Expressway and Don Valley Parkway gave participants a new perspective on our city. In preparation for the event, in-house cycle experts lead several training rides, and gave a workshop on bike maintenance. Overall it was a great team experience for a great cause!
This stunning photo by RDHA’s Sanjay Chauhan was selected as the Feb 2019 Architectural Record “Snapshot”. The image of the Idea Exchange Old Post Office appeared online and in the print journal along with the following brief article by Alex Klimoski:
“On the Grand River in Cambridge, Ontario, a glimmering glass addition by Toronto-based firm RDHA brings a flamboyant edge to the former Galt Post Office, an early 19th-century heritage building that had sat vacant for nearly a decade. Seeing an opportunity to revive the structure, the city’s public library system acquired the site, with plans to create a place dedicated to “makerspaces,” as opposed to a conventional book facility. To accommodate an ambitious program—which includes video- and sound-recording studios, a black-box theater, and rooms with equipment such as woodwork and metalwork machines, laser cutters, and smart tables—the architects had to create 20,000 square feet of space. But the site had many constraints, due largely to its location against a flood wall, so the team inserted two volumes that cantilever out over the water. Clad in glass, fritted with patterns alluding to decorative elements of the historic post office, the addition provides views onto the old building as well as the river below. Although the resulting “library” lacks books, what it offers is an invaluable service: endless possibilities to create.”
Alex Bozikovic, architecture critic for the Globe and Mail, has featured the Idea Exchange Old Post Office in the Jan 5 article "What's Next in 2019?". In the article Globe Arts staff preview 2019’s best, “buzziest events across the worlds of theatre, music, film, visual arts, architecture and design”.
According to Alex: “A new generation of library facilities is reinventing the use and physical layout of those institutions. Idea Exchange of Cambridge, Ont., will move this agenda forward: Entirely bookless, it will instead provide makerspaces, music and video studios and engaged learning. The building by RDHA, which won a Canadian Architect Award of Excellence, reinvents a stone Victorian post office with modernist drama.”
Link to article available to Globe and Mail subscribers: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/arts/article-whats-next-for-2019-in-the-world-of-arts/
Both Waterdown Library and Civic Centre, and the Idea Exchange Old Post Office have received 2018 Architecture MasterPrize (AMP) Awards, Institutional category, and Restoration and Renovation category respectively, which will be celebrated at the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao in early 2019.
A 2018 Canadian Architect Award of Excellence has also been given to the Idea Exchange Old Post Office, Canada’s first “bookless” library that has a program primarily comprised of studio spaces for public creation, supplemented by a café-restaurant as a secondary, contiguous use. The design scheme uses material transparency in an attempt to promote views of the historic structure, bring light into the various levels of studio space, and project the life and vitality of the progressive public program to the city beyond. Jury member David Penner commented “What’s most admirable in my mind is the balance between the conservation of the existing building and the addition”, and Monica Adair said: “The modern architecture has as much character as the heritage structure that it elegantly envelopes. The two not only co-exist, they enhance each others’ assets.”
The Idea Exchange Old Post Office has been dramatically transformed into a modern digital library, ready to support the residents of Cambridge for generations to come. Explore the creative studios, discovery centre, makerspace, heritage reading room café and spectacular Grand River views with a guided tour during Doors Open Ontario Sat Sept 15, 11 am - 5 pm; and Talk at 11:30 am on “Carnegie libraries: A legacy of form and function” by Erin Smith. Visit Doors Open Ontario or Idea Exchange for more information.