North Vancouver City Library


At the heart of the city.

The North Vancouver City Library, designed by Diamond and Schmitt Architects and HDR | CEI in Joint Venture, is a landmark building and a source of civic pride. It was designed to meet the vision of the North Vancouver City Council as an anchor for a new urban precinct in the heart of the city; a contemporary, sustainable and accessible facility.

The new library meets these objectives. At 36,000 square feet, it is more than double the size of the previous building. Its efficient layout was designed with library users and staff in mind, based on extensive community consultations. On each level, a main block of bookshelves creates quiet reading zones that run along the north wall and look into the courtyard, with views of the north shore mountains. High efficiency glazing faces the civic plaza and twin atria, allowing the library’s interior to enjoy soft northern light, which provides a sense of openness and transparency, and reduces the need for artificial light sources.

In its first six months of operation, 6,000 new members joined the North Vancouver Library, and the number of visitors increased by 100 percent over the old library. Best of all, the number of books borrowed increased by 80 percent, evidence that city residents are making the most of their new home.

Project Cost



36,000 sq ft


Sept 2008

Sustainable Features

  • LEED Gold
  • Solar water heating panels provide 20% of energy needs for heating system
  • Radiant slab heating/cooling ceiling system efficiently maintains internal temperature
  • Motorized clerestory windows for ventilation and cooling
  • Exterior sunshades and fritted glass eliminate over 75% of solar heat gain
  • Lighting system equipped with daylight dimming controls


National Urban Design Award, Urban Architecture Category, 2012

Royal Architectural Institute of Canada

Award of Excellence, Commercial/Institutional Category, 2010

City of North Vancouver Advisory Design Panel

Award of Merit, Urban Design/Landscape Category, 2010

City of North Vancouver Advisory Design Panel

Lieutenant-Governor of BC, Award of Merit, 2009

Architectural Institute of British Columbia

Earth Award of Excellence, Best New Building, 2009

Building Owners and Managers Association,

Library Building Award of Merit, 2009

BC Library Association

Sustainability Award, 2009

Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of BC

“It is a bold, distinctive building of light. At night, the building will be aglow; a beautiful beacon. By day, natural light will flood the spaces, creating an inviting and inspiring place.”

Jane Watkins

Chief Librarian
North Vancouver City Library


City of North Vancouver


North Vancouver, BC


Recreation & Community