Salt Spring Island Library

Type of Building
Civic & Institutional, Community & Recreation
1,200 sq. m.
Chang Holovsky Architects, Iredale Architecture
Structural Engineer
Herold Engineering
Construction Manager
Knappett Projects Inc.
Project Owner
Capital Regional District
Lumber, Glue-laminated timber (glulam), Plywood, Paneling

The people of Salt Spring have a strong record of environmental awareness and design aesthetics, and they embraced the library design, construction, appearance and floor plan immediately after the building opened. The extensive use of wood is a major part of the building is appeal.

Duncan Hepburn, Building Manager Salt Spring Island Public Library

Project Overview

Located off the southeast coast of Vancouver Island, Salt Spring Island is the largest in British Columbia's Gulf Island chain. With a population of approximately 10,000, the island has a diverse and flourishing artistic community centred in the town of Ganges. The new 1,200 square metre Salt Spring Island library, completed in 2013, is owned by the Capital Regional District and operated by the Salt Spring Island Public Library Association. Located in downtown Ganges, the building is designed to serve the changing needs of the community for decades to come. 

Wood Use

Architect Ladi Holovsky has been using engineered wood structures in his buildings for 35 years, and the Salt Spring Island Library is no exception. The library is constructed using a post and beam system with glulam joists and rafters, supporting the textured wood panels and tongue and groove wood roof on the second floor. The rafters project beyond the north and south walls, and their ends are visible beneath the cantilevered eaves. On the northwest corner of the building, the library entrance is sheltered by a dramatic glulam-framed canopy whose exposed structure is supported on a single steel column.