Brights Grove Library and Galley in the Grove Community Hub, Sarnia, Ontario, 2020
Passa Architects were commissioned by the City of Sarnia to evolve the design for a 7,000 sf addition and renovations to the historic Faethorne House in the heavily treed Wildwood Park on the shores of Lake Huron. Currently, the Lambton County Library Board operates a small library branch in the building with the Gallery in the Grove Art Gallery on the upper floor. The redesign will enable Gallery in the Grove to occupy all Faethorne House along with shared space for programs and events in the new library addition community hub.
The new library addition has been carefully designed to preserve all-natural aspects in the park creating a curved glass feature wall around a grove of large trees visually bringing them inside as the major focal element of the project. The grade separation that falls towards the lake will be utilized to form a berm at the north end of the addition for emergency exiting while creating an outdoor space for lounging. The new building massing will be behind the existing Faethorne House allowing its prominence to prevail with the new main library entrance subsequent on the parking side of the building providing full accessibility access. The roof will have two heights allowing sunlight from the south to penetrate deep into the new spaces for daylight harvesting incorporating internal sunshades to bounce light on the white ceilings while filtering out the direct sunlight. A green roof is intended to cover the entire new addition contributing to wildlife habitat while aiding in cooling the facility. The structure is intended to be constructed in mass timber to fully advance the sustainability of the development with a low carbon footprint.