The small historic village of Brooklin Ontario provides 19th century charm and urbanity, surrounded by suburban sprawl. At the edge of the village, a lot edged by remnant hardwood forest provided the setting and inspiration for the new Brooklin Library and Community Centre. On approach, the highway transitions to a short historic main street. Around a corner, at the crest of a gentle hill, the Library and Community Centre is nestled beside a stand of oaks and maples establishing a new centre for wellness and community pride.Resembling three linked barns, the building is a modern reinterpretation of Canadian agrarian architecture—fresh, contemporary and also familiar. Each element of the composition contains a key program area: a library, a gymnasium and a community wing with youth and seniors centers. Abundant daylight, lofty spaces, and sweeping views of the natural setting combine with warm, enduring materials such as wood paneling and porches, limestone walls, and cedar ceilings to establish a welcoming and uplifting atmosphere.The plan is not only legible; it is intuitive—made visible through soaring windows and wide corridors that are generous enough to handle school groups and large gatherings. Each corridor opens to expansive views to the outdoors, inviting the adjacent forest into the interior. Stepping into the lobby, a visitor’s eye drifts through the outdoor courtyard, into the gymnasium and out to the forest. While reading in the library, a mother might catch a glimpse of her children in the courtyard and the gymnasium or of her friends in a multi-purpose room upstairs. This multi-dimensional architecture invites activity and inspires interaction in a way that is building a sense of community with each visit and through varied experiences over time.Brooklin Library and Community Centre’s relationship to the street and its layering of indoor and outdoor spaces are also sensitively tied to the site—organized to preserve the existing typography, irrigation and mature trees. The resulting design is not only thoughtfully sustainable, but also combined with the building’s programming, it provokes a sense of tranquility and connection with the indigenous landscape. Materials were selected for their low environmental impact and their durability. Large windows invite natural light to illuminate the interior, with occupancy and daylight sensors to ensure an even level of illumination as required. The light is always tempered as the south facing windows are outfitted with an internal wood grill that provides permanent, attractive and maintenance-free shading.Brooklin Library and Community Centre has become a home away from home for its users, rooting itself in its surroundings. Integrating architectural form and landscape, the complex provides its community with an insight into the region’s past while pointing to the future of sustainable development.