I tried a bit of night-time photo-making for this week’s Thursday Doors contribution:
The public library (branded as Idea Exchange) in the Hespeler community of Cambridge, Ontario currently stands as an uncommon blend of old and new – the outer shell of this structure is constructed with glass, encasing the historic brick building within while also housing the modern extension.
The renovations, completed in 2007, received mixed reviews from locals, even though the design was granted an Award of Excellence by Canadian Architect magazine, among other honours.
As you may know, I’m a sucker for historic buildings, and part of me would’ve liked better exterior visibility of the original structure. However, I’m also a sucker for bright, airy interiors (and libraries in general, of course). The glass, the height, and the clean modern lines create a unique and comfortable indoor space. When inside, being able to circle the original building – to view and touch and appreciate the exposed brick up close – provides an odd but pleasant feeling of being both indoors and outdoors at once.
Today’s main entrance is located on the northeast side of the building:
If you squint through this sheet of glass, you’ll be able to view the location of the original entryway, round the southeast side:
It looks a tad different than it did back in 1923:
Idea Exchange is currently working on another overhaul of a historic structure in the Galt area of Cambridge – the old Post Office – and I understand there’s also a fair amount of glass involved in this particular re-imagination. I’ll keep you posted 🙂