Seattle, WA

PH: 206.675.9151

1050 N 38th St

Seattle, WA 98103

Walla Walla, WA

PH: 206.224.3344

Burlington, VT

PH: 802.391.4523


Ferndale Public Library


Whatcom County Library System


Ferndale, Washington


New Construction


Honorable Mention, AIA Washington Council Civic Design Awards, 2017


Reinforcing pedestrian activity and preserving nature.

In partnership with the Whatcom County Library System and the City of Ferndale, SHKS Architects planned, programmed, and designed a new 15,000-square-foot branch library. Developed in collaboration with community members, City, and Library staff, the library combines emergent ideas about 21st century libraries with long-standing traditions of community gathering and affirms the continuing relevance of libraries in rural communities.

A large community meeting room, computers and a range of collections – children’s, teens and adult – expand access to a broad and growing public. The environmentally responsive design optimizes daylight and views to Mount Baker and Schell Marsh and takes advantage of abundant natural light and breezes through strategically designed window and skylight openings. Four large, south-facing roof monitors provide natural light and ventilation through large venting windows. Western Red Cedar siding and the simple form draw on the material and spatial character of the simple agricultural buildings of the Nooksack River Valley. Along the south wall, the vast, neighboring Schell Marsh provides a tranquil setting to enjoy a new book or a quiet moment with Mount Baker framed as a backdrop.

The Library achieved Ferndale’s “Eagle” requirements, equivalent to LEED Silver, and was recognized by the AIA Washington Council with an Honorable Mention Award in 2017.


“We are thrilled! It’s a beautiful building. I can’t say enough for how well-designed I think the building is and how much the community is going to benefit from it. It really belongs to this community in every sense.”

Norine Amend, President of the non-profit Friends of the Ferndale Public Library


“It has this beautiful, peaceful feeling to it.”

Christine Perkins, Executive Director of the Whatcom County Library System

Design & Construction Process

Finished Photos

Related Projects

Frederickson Community Center

Frederickson, Washington

Central Skagit Sedro-Woolley Library

Sedro-Woolley, Washington

Lake City Library

Seattle, Washington