Premium Partners

Cornell Community Centre & Library

Markham, ON
Construction Cost: $58.5 million (Canadian)
Area / Square Feet: 125,000
Occupancy Date: May 2013

Connected to the existing Markham-Stouffville Hospital, the Cornell Community Centre and Library is at the heart of a newly integrated healthcare campus. Incorporating innovative spaces and programs that combine cultural, educational and therapy functions with more traditional recreation, leisure and library services, the building offers a groundbreaking new model of service delivery and community wellness.

The project is located along the edge of a recently built, heritage-inspired mixed-use neighborhood. Dark manganese “iron spot” brick gives the building volumes a rich patina, and crisp detailing combined with generous proportions of glazing assert a modern identity with emphasis on transparency and function. A playful theme is introduced through a series of inset copper frames and colored glass that further animate the elevations and help identify the building’s major functions. Internally, a dramatic skylit lobby — with generous viewing areas, seating clusters and a café — acts as the main thoroughfare along which the major activity spaces are deployed. This space continues along a secondary perpendicular axis connected via an internal bridge to the adjacent hospital.

The building has been designed to meet LEED Silver certification. A visible reminder of the project’s sustainability commitment is a double-height “living wall” located within the main common space. The wall acts as a natural bio-filtration system that cleanses and filters the air within the building.