A Public Library Focused on Emerging Technologies and Community Connection
Working cooperatively with the Okanagan Regional Library team and TASK Construction Management, HDR ensured that the new Vernon Library is ready to tap the potential of emerging technologies and meet the changing needs of users. The new library enhances user access, promotes community engagement, and ensures a healthy environment for users and staff. A gateway to downtown Vernon from the east, the library is strategically located across from Justice Park — providing a transparent and welcoming interface with the pedestrian realm. Supporting the library's mission to serve the public, the design incorporates community-use spaces that can be accessed independent of the main facility.
The design phase of the project was initiated with an inclusive design charrette, where sustainability was a key focus. This intensive three-day event involved members of the Okanagan Regional Library board and executive staff, Vernon Library staff, library users, community groups, representatives from the City of Vernon, and the entire design team.
The results of the charrette show the strength of the Integrated Design Process. Though the project did not pursue a formal sustainability certification, the building siting, envelope, glazing, and building systems were all designed to promote energy efficiency and sustainability. The building design met the many different objectives of the project and resulted in a unique expression that is current while still responding to the past.
The history of the site and the community were influences during the initial concept design. The agrarian history of Vernon is subtlety reflected in the building form and materiality, yet the building is a modern expression of its time.
While the building is not pursuing official LEED certification, substantial effort was expended during the design phase to ensure an energy-efficient and sustainable response. The building siting, envelope, glazing, and building systems were all a result of an intensive three-day design charrette where sustainability was a key focus.