For this project, Tappé has teamed with the award-winning Richmond based architectural firm, BCWH Architects.
The Varina Area Library is a brand new 43,000 square foot building on a 22 acre site in rural eastern Henrico County. The new state-of-the art-library replaces a small 6,000 square foot branch that served the Varina community for over 40 years. Varina’s citizens wanted an active library that provided a “next generation” of library services. To create a hub for learning with sufficient quiet space, the library features several unique learning spaces and programmatic elements that facilitate project-based learning pedagogies. More casual learning spaces are integrated throughout the library in the form of private and group study rooms outfitted with mobile, adaptable furniture to promote various learning, working, and collaborating styles.
the library’s design is rooted in the landscape and the 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 main library functions are housed in three pavilions that sit seemingly independently on the site. The library’s service and secondary functions are located adjacent to the pavilions in lower scale extensions – structures that re-interpret an addition to a typical utilitarian farm building. Both the interior and exterior materials are inspired by materials found recurrently in the surrounding community. The end of each pavilion is terminated by a large expanse of glass that maximizes view and allows large amounts of natural light to bathe the interior. The project is designed to achieve LEED Silver Certification.