Salwa Baquer

Community Resource Center, 2021

King & Dufferin, Toronto, ON, Canada



The Community Resource Center is meant to be a space that exudes and appeals to life.


 Located off-centre, sight lines to neighbouring buildings from any point on site, remains unobstructed. 


Sprinkled with greenery along the site, the central ellipse is cradled by grand yet simple concrete ribbons that seamlessly span the area around it, soaring for machine, gravitating for man. In that, it is not only an essential structural component but is also endowed with interactive sculptural quality under which one may pass through, on which one may incline. 


The East entrance introduces a wide, open-concept lobby area looking up to the second floor and curved staircases defining the ellipse on both sides. To its South, the library shelves- distended to the second floor- are arranged radially around seats next to the elevator, hemming the wall behind the South staircase. From its North, wafts in the delicious aroma of roasted coffee beans with the crisp melt of cheese on sandwiches in the cafe. The communal kitchen which looks out to Dufferin St. through a window, opens to the cafe and its pantry allows back exit into the driveway.


Behind the partition wall, below shimmering pendant lights that descend asymmetrically from the roof all the way down to the reception area, lies the exhibition hall- that opens to both the library and the cafe. Bathed in lights from above, the allure of art paired with the coax of old books and the temptation of food is very likely to befuddle the mind.

The glass roof obliges ample natural light to filter through to the second floor. Equipped with a multi-purpose room on the extreme North, the floor aligns a washroom, fire exit, a well-lit administrative room, a counselling room, a workshop and a meeting room along the arc to the South library. All look down on the ground floor so no space is isolated nor obscured.


Speaking of, a temperature-controlled basement accessed by elevator is bedded below the ground, accoutred with an auditorium space and the utility room. Clothed in dark and moody palette, it is an arena of theatrics and of treaties.


While the interior is attired in varying shades of parchment, dark wood, sombre gold and splashed of lush turquoise to create both affinity and acclaim, the exterior is vulnerable to the clouds. Sun glimmers on from the East, casting playful and undulating shadows on the site. As it diffuses far West, the Community Center comes alive from within. Rain adds its sparkle to the lead blades while snow glints on the curved arms of the structure- a sight throughout the seasons and a space for all the reasons.

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