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Visit the Trent University website; learn about the Bata Library Heritage Stewardship.

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September 9, 2019 Living Wall: a Green Design Element in the Renovation of a Famous Building Celebrated in Canadian Architecture by Amber Poncé and David Aquilina in; September 3, 2019 3:40 Trent University Bata Library Greenwall – Featured Project video from on the greenroofsTV channel on YouTube; July 30, 2019 1:25 LiveWall at Trent University Bata Library by LiveWall; October 31, 2018 1:50 Bata Library at Trent University reopens after 18-month renovation by Steve Guthrie in Global News.


September 3, 2019 Featured Project: Trent University Bata Library Greenwall by Linda S. Velazquez on; July 16, 2019 Ontario Universities draw on Biophilia hypothesis to power a sustainable future by staff in Ontario Construction News; June 25, 2019 LiveWall Living Wall is the Green Centerpiece in Trent University’s Bata Library LiveWall Press Release on; November 16, 2018 Bata Library Transformation Celebrated at Trent University Trent University Press Release; October 31, 2018 Bata Library at Trent University reopens after 18-month renovation by Steve Guthrie in Global News; February 2, 2016 Important Step Forward in Transformation of Trent University’s Iconic Bata Library by staff in TrentU.CA.

In 2018, when the iconic Thomas J. Bata Library at Trent University (Peterborough, Ontario) underwent an $18.8 million transformation into the library of the future, a 278-square-foot (26-square-meter) indoor green wall was installed with the LiveWall® Indoor Living Wall System.

Constructed in 1967, Trent’s Bata Library is a revered building in Canadian architecture. The library is a prominent landmark on Trent University’s Peterborough campus, and was designed by Ronald Thom. Thom was an extraordinarily influential Canadian architect whose work reflected the harmony with nature characteristic of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Prairie style while incorporating the modern sensibility and simplicity of the Bauhaus movement.

The Trent campus is a splendid example of conceptual architecture that respects location. Thom envisioned the campus buildings, including the library, as growing out of the picturesque landscape on the west and east banks of the Ontonabee River.

Living Wall Symbolizes and Strengthens Trent University’s Connection to Nature

“Thom wanted excellent design that harmonizes with natural settings and natural beauty,” said Dr. Leo Groarke, Ph.D., president and vice-chancellor, Trent University. “Featuring a living wall in the re-design of the Bata Library is a wonderful way to honor this legacy.”

“The library has always celebrated a vital connection to nature and the outdoors,” said Shelley Strain, LEED AP, GRP, sustainability coordinator, Trent University Facilities Management. “The living wall symbolizes and strengthens this connection.”

“The living wall is set back within the library’s atrium and creates an inviting open space,” said James Mallinson, B.Arch., OAA, LEED AP, project architect, Perkins + Will (Toronto, Ontario), the architecture firm for the project. “It connects two adjacent seating areas, softens the center of the interior, and complements the tone of the cedar ceilings.”

LiveWall® Indoor Living Wall Brings the Outdoors into the Atrium of the Bata Library

In keeping with Trent’s statement of heritage stewardship, the refurbishment of the Bata Library centered on the unique history and design legacy of the significant architectural treasure. The whole Bata Library building is dedicated to environmental stability and was renewed to ensure that it remains the intellectual hub of Trent campus. The new space encourages students to learn and thrive on campus, and among the many features of Trent’s Library of the Future is its new greenwall.

Completed in October 2018, the Bata Library green wall is almost 7 feet (2 meters) in height and was constructed in two side-by-side sections each 20 feet (six meters) in length. In total, it includes 150 bluestone-colored LiveWall modular planter boxes, which contain inserts that hold the growing medium and a mix of seven different tropical plants with dark green, light green and white foliage.

The LiveWall® plant palette encompasses 380 plants and includes: Philodendron selloum, Philodendron hybrid lemon lime, Anthurium with white flowers, Aglaonema osaka, Dracaena ‘Limelight’, Nephthytis white, and Ficus benjamina marguerite.

“The plant palette features tropical species with similar water and light requirements,” said Sasha Liston, sales manager and research and development lead, Ginkgo Sustainability (Toronto, Ontario), the green infrastructure specialists responsible for installing and maintaining the living wall. “The organic design mixes upright and billowing species that have a variety of leaf shapes, variegation and textures.”

Referring to its new greenwall, the Trent University Sustainability Office says, “This new wall is expected to provide aesthetic and psychological benefits to staff and students using the space and to help provide cleaner air as plants naturally filter the air. The intention of this green wall is to eventually incorporate edible plants and connect highly specialized experiential learning for students.”

The Thomas J. Bata Library renovation was funded through federal and provincial grants, contributions by the university, and a public fundraising campaign.

In addition to the Bata Library Greenwall, Trent also has approximately 3,500 m2 of greenroof space on campus; these include a series of rooftop gardens on the Chemical Science Building; extensive greenroofs on Enwayaang; and the two greenroofs on its Environmental Science Complex, one extensive and the iconic semi-intensive research rooftop garden.


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