AIA/ALA Library Building Award 2017

THE VARINA AREA LIBRARY

HENRICO COUNTY, VIRGINIA

VARINA AREA LIBRARY RECEIVES NATIONAL DESIGN AWARD

The Varina Area Library in Henrico County, Virginia receives a national design award from the American Institute of Architects and American Library Association.

The Library, which opened on June 1, 2016, is a new 43,000 square foot building located on a 22 acre parcel of land in the rural, eastern section of Henrico County, Virginia. The new state-of the art-library replaces a small 6,000 square foot branch that served the Varina community for over 40 years.
The design of the Library reflects and reinforces the unique, local culture and history of the Varina district. The building and materials are reminiscent of the agrarian structures that once populated the area, borrowing on the form of a tobacco barn. The Library is configured to be a series of three pavilions emerging from and cascading down the site toward a protected wetland area. Both the interior and exterior materials are inspired by those found recurrently in the surrounding community. The end of each pavilion is enclosed by expansive glass walls that maximizes views, allowing natural light to bathe the interior. The project is designed to achieve LEED Silver Certification.

Configured for adaptability, the spatial connections between the Teen Collection, Collaboration Zone and Digital Media Lab allow the spaces to flex over the course of a day to accommodate emerging entrepreneurs, seniors, teens and tech-savvy patrons. At the opposite end of the Library, the Silent Study pavilion is immersed in daylight and the natural environment surrounds patrons who desire a place for focused concentration. The Children’s Collection has a “floating” story and craft pavilion that is accented with pops of color in which children can access through a great “barn door.” Spilling from the Welcome Zone to the Reading Landing, cascading seating steps become an informal amphitheater when the oversized screen lowers in front of the two-story glass wall that frames the woods and walking trails.

The Varina Area Library was designed in collaboration with BCWH architects in Richmond, VA.

BCWH and Tappé have a strategic partnership to bring the best in library design to the communities they serve. Both firms share the same values and philosophies about client service and design excellence. BCWH’s strong project delivery approach and superior interior design capabilities are complimented by Tappé’s national expertise in planning and designing quality library environments. The two firms have successfully collaborated in Henrico County since 2008. In addition to the Varina Library, the team designed the Gayton Library renovation and the new Libbie Mill Library and are currently designing the County’s new Fairfield Area Library.

Other Tappé/BCWH Projects:


TAPPE

EDUCATION

Our school clients rely on us for full spectrum services from system wide feasibility studies to school planning and construction. We understand current trends in educational curriculum and the evolving requirements of specialized learning. This expertise is reflected in many completed new and renovated academic facilities for both public and private schools. Our designs are unified around the goal of creating carefully scaled and engaging learning environments flexible enough to support both group and individual learning.

TAPPE

LIBRARIES

National and international clients turn to us for informed current thinking on library design. We have acted as the prime Architect and also as a consulting designer for library projects throughout the country, enabling us to share our expertise in a broader geographic area. Our collaborative approach, combined with our understanding of innovations in library design and the delivery of library services ensure that our libraries are vital and dynamic facilities, transforming individual lives and enhancing communities.

TAPPE

HIGHER ED

Colleges and universities have engaged Tappe Architects to assist with diverse projects such as student centers, libraries, learning commons, dormitories and laboratories as well as campus master plans. Our list of clients includes MIT, Wellesley College, Endicott College, Tufts University, Curry College and Norfolk State University. We have acted as Architect-of-Record and as consulting architect on academic library design and interiors. Appreciated for the quality of our service, we have completed multiple projects on the same campus.

TAPPE

A BROAD PORTFOLIO…

Whether an art museum or event space, we are always interested in taking on engaging projects of all types. We have completed many municipal projects including a combined police/fire station, town halls and studies for combined municipal facilities – often several for the same community. Our portfolio includes residential facilities as well as spaces for retail and hospitality. All of these various commissions have in common a rigorous and collaborative planning process and elegant and thoughtful execution.