Okanagan Regional Library Vernon Branch


A new chapter in library design.

Libraries are welcoming and inspiring places for all who seek information and knowledge, and are evolving from being perceived as book repositories to community service centres. Flexibility for the future is more important now than ever.

Working cooperatively with the ORL Team and TASK Construction Management, HDR | CEI endeavored to ensure that the New Vernon Library is configured to meet the changing needs of users and tap the potential of emerging technologies. Using our ‘Listen-First’ approach to design, this project promises to be a model for community sustainability, enhancing access, promoting literacy, and ensuring a healthy environment for users and staff.

The design phase of the project was initiated with our signature Design Charrette.  This intensive three-day event involved members of the ORL Board, ORL 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 are manifest in the final plans for the project and show the strength of an Integrated Design Process.  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 area of the new library has expanded, now with 30,000 square feet over two floors of modern, open space boasting city-wide views and lots of natural light. The main floor features a kids area, teen area and a 125-person community meeting room opening directly to the street. Upstairs via an open staircase flooding both floors with natural light are public internet stations, a computer lab and study space, smaller meeting room, adult reading area and offices for library staff.

Project Cost



30,000 sq ft


April 2012

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Silver Award, General Contractor (up to $15 Million), 2013

Vancouver Regional Construction Association Awards of Excellence

Excellence Award, Community category, 2012

Thompson Okanagan Commercial Building Awards

Judges’ Choice, 2012

Thompson Okanagan Commercial Building Awards


"The design is very appealing. One that people find very attractive. I think the building will be used for any number of purposes, not just for borrowing books but just to come and relax."

Maureen Curry

Chief Librarian
Okanagan Regional Library Vernon Branch


Okanagan Regional Library


Vernon, BC


Recreation & Community