G.M. Diemert Architect Inc.

Bruce County Library - Port Elgin Branch


Originally conceived as a project intended to address barrier-free access, the project was expanded when Federal and Provincial funding was added to the budget. The result is a project that nearly doubles the floor area of the library while providing a new grade level entrance on the building's north side. The new addition is two-storeys in height and features a dramatic two storey open atrium and an elevator. The addition is contemporary in style, but is constructed using matching brick and the proportions of the new openings respect the original Carnegie Branch Library design.

This project serves as a demonstration of our approach to the design of projects that interact with historically sensitive structures. The Town of Saugeen Shores Building Committee included the participation of members of the Town of Saugeen Shores LACAC in addition to Town staff and County Library representatives. We retained historic details and trims throughout the interior and developed details that illustrated the difference between the older building and the new construction throughout. The existing masonry was exposed within the new atrium, for example, including the stone rubble foundation and the existing wood soffit and brackets. In this way, it is possible to "read" the history of this addition