*공공 도서관의 새로운 혁신-[ BCWH Architects ] Varina Area Library

바리나 지역 도서관이 단순히 학습을 위한 허브로써뿐만 아니라 지역 사회의 발전과 개인의 변환을 위한 공간으로써 새롭게 탈바꿈되었다.  도서관 서비스를 제공하는 모델을 만들면서 동시에 특정 지역에 독창적으로 적용가능한 혁신적인 내용과 요소적 아이디어를 설계하기 위해 노력한 결과, 바리나 지역 도서관의 건축은 문화적이면서도 개인의 향상을 위해 지역 사회가 부여할 수 있는 영감을 반영하는 공간으로 재탄생하였다.

The new 43,885SF Varina Area Library was envisioned as a place for individual transformation and community advancement as well as a hub for learning. Building on our client’s model for library service, we strove to discern those elements of library design embodying ideas, initiatives and innovations uniquely suited to this library for this particular community.


Architects: BCWH Architects

Location: Henrico County, VA, United States

Architects in Charge: Charles W. Wray, Jeffery M. Hoover, Andrea Quilici, Kylan Shirley 

Area: 44000.0 ft2

Project Year: 2016

Photographs: Chris Cunningham 

Manufacturers: Interface, Swisspearl

First, we embraced the idea that the Library should reflect and reinforce local culture and character. This library is rooted in its natural environment as much as it is rooted in the community. It is configured to be a series of pavilions emerging from and cascading down the landscape. The forms of the pavilions reflect the community’s vernacular architectural heritage, being vaguely reminiscent of a collection of tobacco barns. A simple palette of building materials inside and out reinforces this concept.


Second, we created an active library where productive people can engage with collections, librarians, other patrons, and their own ambitions. The design supports group collaboration projects, individuals needing focused concentration, and provides spaces to be creative – both digitally and tangibly. In addition to having a great community meeting room, with a teaching kitchen, various spaces around the collections are configured for people to productively use information themselves, share information with others, complete projects (alone or in groups), garner new perspectives and create new information.  Some pavilions have more of a collections focus, punctuated with daylit environments for enhanced learning with bucolic views.  These spaces are flanked by group spaces in a variety of formats – from traditional study tables to soft seating and coffee tables 

Next, we wanted a welcoming design made for “easy shopping.” The Library configuration recognizes that active lives sometimes require “grab and go” transactions. Therefore, the library’s design incorporates wide aisles and shelves at convenient heights which tilt the books’ titles up for easier viewing and selecting. Also, many will appreciate the full service drive-up window.  Additionally, the library entrance is purposefully “de-formalized” to establish a “side-door” welcoming approach, coming in between two pavilions.  This character is reinforced by setting up each pavilion with a “back porch” overlook to the woods.


The space between the primary pavilions cascades from the entry level down the slope of the site to the woods.  This space leads to the Children’s Library as well as the Community Gathering spaces.  This in-between space is employed to enhance local networking by providing space for ad hoc encounters on the monumental steps and at the café space and terrace at the bottom. This space also serves as an occasional venue for viewing movies.


The architecture of the Varina Area Library identifies itself as a reflection of the community’s aspirations for cultural and individual advancement while also being a logical extension of the history that shaped local community culture. Our goal was to make this library relevant, useful, and productive for the emerging generations of library users in this part of Henrico County.


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