New UBC Library PARC Facility / DGBK Architects

New UBC Library PARC Facility / DGBK Architects - ChairNew UBC Library PARC Facility / DGBK Architects - Facade, Column, BeamNew UBC Library PARC Facility / DGBK Architects - Beam, Handrail, SteelNew UBC Library PARC Facility / DGBK Architects - Beam, SteelNew UBC Library PARC Facility / DGBK Architects - More Images+ 8

Vancouver, Canada
  • CODE CONSULTANT: GHL Consultants Ltd.
  • Design Team: Robert Lange, Amy Cheung, Peter Sickert
  • Code Consultant: GHL Consultants Ltd.
  • Builder: Wales McLelland Construction
  • City: Vancouver
  • Country: Canada
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New UBC Library PARC Facility / DGBK Architects - Facade
© Ema Peter Photography

Text description provided by the architects. DGBK Architects joins the University of British Columbia in celebrating the official opening of the Library Preservation and Archives (Library PARC) facility. The new Library PARC facility is an outstanding demonstration of a highly specialized library environment based on a model developed at Harvard University that extends the life of printed library collections from 30 years (in a typical library environment) to 300 years.

New UBC Library PARC Facility / DGBK Architects - Beam, Steel
© Ema Peter Photography

By using a system where the Library’s collections are stored within high-density shelving units in a thermal and humidity controlled environment, Library PARC is one of North America’s most efficient and cost effective storage facilities.
“Library PARC is key in terms of helping us house our ever-growing collections and providing innovative spaces worthy of a 21st-century research library,” says Ingrid Parent, University Librarian at UBC. “The facility’s carefully controlled environment will extend the life of the Library’s collections, ensuring their availability to current and future generations of students, scholars and lifelong learners.”

New UBC Library PARC Facility / DGBK Architects - Glass
© Ema Peter Photography

Designed to provide more than 2,200 square metres of high-density collection storage, capable of holding about 1.6 million volumes, the facility is the first of 6 possible storage modules. The facility will also house a campus-wide records management service, in addition to a small digitization area, a contained freezer area for decontamination, a staff work area and a publicly accessible reading room.


To achieve an identity for Library PARC, DGBK started to advance concepts for an architectural language while exploring the siting options. “This exploration started with the location of the facility within the Forest District of UBC and the play of light in the vertical forest,” says Robert Lange, Partner, DGBK.

New UBC Library PARC Facility / DGBK Architects - Chair
© Ema Peter Photography

The storage of materials in this facility does not follow the traditional approach of grouping books by topic but rather by book size, permitting the use of barcodes to store and retrieve them. The barcoded book is stored in a tray, which also contains a barcode and the trays are placed on the shelves, which are again barcoded. “The conceptual idea of the trees in the forest in tandem with the operational requirements of the facility – the barcode – led to the building’s design language.”

New UBC Library PARC Facility / DGBK Architects - Beam, Handrail, Steel
© Ema Peter Photography

The facility consists of two main parts – a processing/administrative area and a long rectangular storage module for a combined area of 2,045 square metres. For the latter, the cladding visually references the forest and the barcode through its use of colour and depth using stained cedar on concrete. The blockwork and glazing of the processing and loading areas employs a playful solid void composition with the glazing mullions replicating a varied vertical rhythm of spacing again referencing the barcode. The void areas are used for infiltration of natural light, permitting views to the forest from various orientations. Wood elements at the entry and the sunshades on the west glazing enliven the expression of the processing area. To diminish the large volume, the facility’s massing is divided into three parts and united through the use of similar cladding materials and colours. The folded roof and wood soffit wraps over the processing area, providing a connection of the parts.
Wales McClelland Construction built the Library PARC facility with project management by UBC Properties Trust.

New UBC Library PARC Facility / DGBK Architects - Facade
© Ema Peter Photography

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Project location

Address:It’s located at 6049 Nurseries Road, Vancouver, BC V6T 1W5

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Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
About this office
Cite: "New UBC Library PARC Facility / DGBK Architects" 21 Apr 2016. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

© Ema Peter Photography

哥伦比亚大学图书馆新档案馆/ DGBK Architects

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