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James Bartleman Archives and Library Materials Centre

Shoalts and Zaback Achitects Ltd. & Barry J. Hobin and Associates Architects Inc.

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Project Status


Year Completed



95,000 sq. feet

Construction Cost


Certifications and Designations


LEED Silver

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Project Description

The Archives mandate is to protect and interpret priceless artifacts and to strengthen community memory by facilitating public use. Public Libraries have evolved from an emphasis on providing access to their book collection to an emphasis on keeping this collection current and facilitating access to information in all its forms. The Library Materials Center provides work space and technology to support this.

The architecture is a contemporary expression using current materials and methods. The Archives has precise technical requirements with significant areas of glass that provide natural light and create an open and inviting appearance in public and staff areas. The glass uses ceramic frit printed with digital exerts from the collection. The building contents are now permanently “inscribed” onto the fabric of the walls that protect them.

The building creates; a public courtyard linking the future transit station to the facility, a site for the public art associated with the project and a communal focal point at a key intersection.

This project is on target to reach LEED silver certification. It has heat pump systems with heat recovery and robust construction provides a stable environment for the facility’s priceless collections.

The new facility is now able to provide space for an extensive range of research and public functions. Public usage has increased by just over 100%. The profile of this organization has been transformed.

The building sets a new standard of architectural and urban design excellence in this rapidly growing suburban area of Ottawa. It provides tangible community benefits such as green spaces, a public courtyard and connection to the future transit station.
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