Civic-Centered Library with West Coast Character
The new library facility is the brainchild of Vancouver Island Regional Library’s vision to create an iconic addition to Sooke’s dynamic growth with the primary goal of promoting a strong civic presence and providing a high-level public amenity for the community.
The circular form of the building was inspired by the idea of a log section wrapped with vertical cedar paneling that emulates the texture of tree bark. This form also responds to the functional requirement of the library in which a clear sightline should be maintained from the central service desk to the majority of the space for security purposes.
The building’s West Coast character offers a welcoming feel by utilizing heavy timber columns at the entry and wood structure throughout. The ingenious way that roof run-off is captured and utilized for the rain garden feature, as well as thoughtful landscaping, adds visual interest around the front drop-off area improving visitors’ experience.
The design of the library was conceived based on several sustainable strategies in order to maximize occupant health and productivity, and to minimize negative environmental impacts. Operational costs will be decreased due to the use of solar shading devices, energy efficient lighting and low-flow plumbing fixtures. Low volatile organic compounds interior finishes, and radiant flooring and cooling, will be incorporated to promote indoor occupant comfort.
An energy analysis tool was used to determine the building’s performance with respect to daylight and energy which ultimately informed the final design of the library. In support of Sooke’s environmental stewardship initiative, the design also embraces green technologies such as electric vehicle charging stations and provisions for future solar energy integration.