Nelson Public Library & Condos

This project comprises the redevelopment of the site adjacent to Nelson City Hall to provide a new 18,760 square foot public library with four storeys of residential units above. The structure will be mass timber, composed of CLT panel floors that are supported by glulam beams and columns. The building’s heating and cooling will be supplied by the lake source Nelson District Energy System.

The site includes an area of land to the east that would otherwise be the continuance of the urban grid (the streets and sidewalks), were it not interrupted by the CP Rail tracks. As such, the building has the unique opportunity to cantilever itself into the usual pattern of streets and sidewalks, connecting visually to the ‘heart’ of downtown Nelson - the Ward and Baker intersection. The Library is a visual beacon that signals its proud presence in the community and entices the public to visit.

The new Public Library is positioned to play a key role in Nelson and area’s social and economic well-being, with improved community inclusivity that incorporates greater access for vulnerable members of the community and provision for Indigenous consultation. The stalwart Library services (books, stacks and quiet reading) are counterpointed by contemporary library spaces including flexible after-hours community rooms, tech hubs, a cafe and dynamic, adaptable open space.

A highly transparent south and east facade connects the library to the City Hall plaza. Community connection is fostered through open, flexible library space that promotes gathering, communication and active learning. The building bestows views from the community inwards, and from the library outwards - cultivating an active relationship between the library and its community.


District heat

Mass timber, solar panels and rooftop gardens



Location: Nelson, BC

Client: The Corporation of the City of Nelson

Project Team
Architectural: Stanley Office of Architecture
Structural: Fast + Epp
Mechanical, Electrical, Energy Modeling: Prism Engineering
Civil: Ward Engineering & Land Surveying
Building Code: GHL Consultants
Quantity Surveyor: LEC

Status: Grant application.