Fallbrook Library Wins Architectural “Orchid”

The people have spoken.

The Fallbrook Library has won the coveted “People’s Choice” Orchid award in the San Diego Architectural Foundation’s annual “Orchid’s and Onions” awards presentation highlighting good (and bad) building design.

A judge’s panel picks most of the Orchids and Onions, but online voting determines the People’s Choice award. After receiving multiple nominations, the Fallbrook Library received the most votes from a field of finalists.

“I’m not surprised the library won an architectural award based on popular voting,” Board of Supervisors Chairman Bill Horn said. “The people of Fallbrook had so much input into this library’s design. They’re extremely proud of the welcoming, functional and attractive place it has become.”

The brightly-colored library on the corner of South Mission Road and East Alvarado Street opened in January. The building is a celebration of local art, culture and ideas, with sculptures, lithographs, gates, and mosaics by local artists built into its structure. The library is an integral element of Fallbrook’s community vision of having East Alvarado Street serve as an “arts corridor” and is rightfully situated near the Fallbrook Arts Center and School of Arts.

“We wanted to build something with sizzle and pop,” said County Library Director Jose Aponte. “We saw an opportunity to build a library that would be a part of Fallbrook’s cultural identity while functioning as a center for civic engagement and transformation. It’s a one of a kind library.”

The 19,000-square-foot-building achieved LEED Silver Certification for sustainable design. A 3,500-square-foot area of the roof is landscaped with a colorful mosaic of succulents, both eye-catching and eco-friendly, is one of its most visible “green” features.

With peaceful natural lighting, a “living room,” area with fireplace, a shaded Poets’ Patio, community spaces, a large and colorful children’s area, homework center, and a teen zone, the library’s layout has drawn praise from patrons.

The Fallbrook Library was delivered by the design build team of C.W. Driver – Builders; Ferguson Pape Baldwin Architects – Architects of Record; and Manuel Oncina – Design Architect. The library design incorporated the ideas and needs expressed by the community and the Friends of the Fallbrook Library.

The new library cost about $11million; with the Fallbrook Friends of the Library contributing about $2 million and the County $9 million.