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Whistler Library, Whistler, British Columbia, Canada

Wednesday 10 Jun 2009

A natural step towards sustainability

copyright: Hughes Condon Marler 
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Hughes Condon Marler completes new library for Canadian ski-resort town 

As the first major project after the Resort Municipality of Whistler’s adoption of the Natural Step Program, the Whistler Library was asked to exemplify sustainable design principles in a visually apparent manner. The building is raised over existing parking to facilitate connections to the pedestrian Village Stroll and to the cycling skiing paths found in adjacent Creekside Park.

The building form minimises summer, solar heat-gain while maximising desirable northern light suitable for reading. The resultant gently sloping building section provides dramatic views to the mountains to the north and a strong visual connection between interior and exterior spaces. This indoor outdoor connection has been accentuated by the use of natural building materials that include locally-quarried basalt on the building’s totemic elements, locally harvested cedar for cladding and an innovative, laminated-wood roof structure made from second-growth hemlock.

Other sustainable strategies that have been woven into the architecture include ground-source heat exchange, displacement heating and cooling (through a raised access floor), high efficiency boilers and direct, digital control systems (to enable manual control of windows and mechanical systems). A cycling and skiing end-of-trip facility provides showers and lockers to encourage visitors to use alternate transport.

Finally, a green roof, which reduces storm-water runoff and retains snow for increased insulation, covers 80% of the library to act as a visual symbol of the community’s sustainability goals and approach to a re-invented mountain architecture.

Key Facts

Status Completed
Value 0(m€)
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Hughes Condon Marler : Architects

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