North Vancouver City Library

“This new library, located directly across from North Vancouver’s City Hall, has provided the municipality of North Vancouver with an attractive civic building and plaza that significantly contributes to its identity and quality of its public realm. The library is clearly the result of involving stakeholders’ objectives and desires throughout the design process which helped shape the project’s contribution to the definition of the City of North Vancouver’s central area.”

Jury Comments, 2012 National Urban Design Awards

The new North Vancouver Library is a milestone. The city had outgrown its previous library and needed a more comprehensive facility. Located in an active and accessible site, the new state-of-the-art central library doubles the capacity of the former. It also creates an animated civic plaza adjacent to Vancouver’s City Hall and the surrounding business district.

The building and its plaza are designed to take advantage of the spectacular views of the North Shore Mountains and Burrard Inlet. For the library, physical and psychological accessibility had become a priority.

Three storeys of a high-efficiency glazed envelope and a sky-lit central atrium offer openness, access, and an abundance of natural light. Operable in some parts, these glazed windows open to let in the fresh air on all sides of the building. Fully accessible, the new library supports the city by offering educational programs. This design strategy provides flexibility for a growing community. Within, common spaces can be transformed for a variety of uses.

This LEED Gold-certified library uses a combination of natural ventilation, geo-exchange cooling, and solar energy to meet the heating and cooling needs of the building. The first sustainable district energy mini-plant in Central Lonsdale provides power to the library; in exchange, the installation of rooftop solar panels collect energy for the mini-plant, which also serves the surrounding buildings.

The new North Vancouver Library responds to its cultural, social, and geographical context, encouraging the community to use the facility and contribute to its vitality and growth.

Client City of North Vancouver
Completion 2009
Sustainability LEED Gold Certified

In joint venture with HDR
Photography Tom Arban

Awards See all project awards
2012 Architecture Canada / Canadian Institute of Planners / Canadian Society of Landscape Architects, National Urban Design Awards – Medal for Excellence in Urban Architecture
2010 City of North Vancouver Advisory Design Panel – Award of Excellence, Commercial & Institutional
2010 City of North Vancouver Advisory Design Panel – Award of Merit, Urban Design / Landscape
2009 Architectural Institute of British Columbia – Lieutenant-Governor of British Columbia Award in Architecture – Award of Merit
2009 British Columbia Library Association – Merit B: Building
Team See full project team