Governor General's Medals in Architecture - 2022 Recipient - The Idea Exchange Old Post Office | Royal Architectural Institute of Canada

Governor General's Medals in Architecture - 2022 Recipient - The Idea Exchange Old Post Office

The Idea Exchange Old Post Office
Award Category: 
Governor General’s Medals in Architecture

RDH Architects (RDHA)

Occupancy: October 15, 2018
Construction Budget: $12 million

The Idea Exchange Old Post Office is a major renovation, restoration and addition to a heritage-listed structure in Cambridge, Ontario. This project adapts the 1885 post office to accommodate the Idea Exchange, a bookless library that centres on open studio spaces for creative work by people of all ages. Housed within a heritage structure in constant dialogue with its contemporary addition, the Idea Exchange Old Post Office projects the life and vitality of a progressive public library program to the street, the river, and the city beyond.


Project Credits: 
Client - City of Cambridge and the Idea Exchange
Landscape Architect - NAK Design 
Structural Engineers - WSP / Halsall Ltd. 
Mechanical / Electrical Engineering - Jain Associates Ltd. 
Civil Engineers - Valdor Engineering Inc. 
Acoustic Engineering - Aercoustics 
Code Consultant - L.R.I. 
Cost Consulting - AW Hooker 
Contractor - Collaborative Structures Ltd.  
Heritage Consultant - Steven Burgess Architects Ltd. 
Jury Comment(s): 

The architects integrated contemporary volumes into a historic building with boldness and attention to the fine detail of the junctions between the new and existing structures. This creates a continuity by contrast. Lightened views among common spaces over the water and the gesture of daylight washing the historic façades create an interesting and coherent program.

2022 Jury

Click for full version: 
Perspective view from the northwest
Perspective view of the Library looking south

PHOTO - Tom Arban 

Interior view illustrating the café dining area and lounge

PHOTO - Tom Arban

Exterior view of west elevation and interior view of glazed bridges within atrium

PHOTO - Tom Arban

Interior view of attic level maker space stations

PHOTO - Tom Arban 

Interior of Children's Discovery Centre and exterior elevation of historic building

PHOTO - Tom Arban