The winning scheme in a design competition, the Vaughn City Hall represents Phase 1 of a master plan to create a civic heart in a suburban context. Since 1981, Vaughn has experienced rapid growth, consequently replacing the original pastoral landscape into disparate, generic suburbs. The design sets the tone and standard for environmentally responsible and thoughtful development into the 21st century, and established a civic identity for Vaughn.
The total program of 325,000 sq. ft. is distributed among a series of buildings to create a civic campus of low-rise structures that define a public terrain of open and enclosed space. The program includes the City Hall (Phase 1), the Chamber of Commerce, a Civic Tower, and a Public Library building. Landscape elements include the Civic Square, a reflecting pool/skating rink, public gardens and a naturalized park. The campus is laid out according to a series of east-west bands that recall the linear pattern of land cultivation which once characterized the region, as well as the larger framework of the concession grid.
The order of buildings is inspired by the clarity of Ontario town planning where City Hall, Civic Square, Market and Cenotaph define an identifiable civic precinct. The concept also draws from the tradition of the European square, or piazza, where architecture is used to define spaces for meeting, demonstration and celebration.
The City Hall is targeting LEED-Gold. Key strategies include maximizing underground parking to preserve surface land for green space. The L-shaped plan with each wing featuring a central atrium is oriented to maximize daylight exposure. Connecting stairs within the atrium reduce elevator use. The building is expected to realize a savings of 25 percent in operational costs of a convention building of the same size.