Till O&O!

October 26, 2017
Reception & Ceremony
The US Grant
Tickets Available Now!


County of San Diego Alpine Library

Nominator 1:

The Alpine Library is the County of San Diego’s first Zero Net Energy (ZNE) building. Located at 1752 Alpine Blvd., in Alpine, California, the approximately 12,700-square-foot, design-build library is more than four times the size of the previous facility. The new library provides access to a large collection of educational resources in addition to hosting a variety of community events and learning services. The space also acts as a safety zone for residents of the rural community during emergencies. The facility features a large children’s area for storytelling, crafts and early literacy activities, quiet study rooms, a homework center, public computers, a reading room, computer lab, dividable resource room for flexible programming, automated book check-out, Alpine Library Friends Association bookstore, and an outdoor patio overlooking the nearby park. Two giant indoor trees welcome visitors and provide a cozy nook for young readers, while teens and adults can gather in their own uniquely designed spaces to enjoy free Wifi and a network of 42 million books, DVD movies, and music CDs. The library is pursuing LEED Gold Certification and Zero Net Energy Certification through the Living Building Challenge.


Nominator 2:

Alpine library…Beautiful use of different materials interesting to look at…sensory stimulus!

  • Orchid Nominee

  • Project Address:

    1752 Alpine Blvd. Alpine, CA 91901

    Project Owner/Developer:

    County of San Diego, Department of General Services

    Owner Contact Name/Email:

    Thomas Fincher, County of San Diego, thomas.fincher@sdcounty.ca.gov

    Project Architect/Designer:

    Ferguson Pape Baldwin Architects/Manuel Oncina Architects


  • April Fenton Heinze

    Not your grandparents library, Alpine Library’s design is open, airy and vibrant creating an energetic hive for learning at all ages!

  • Leslie Verfaillie

    yay–such a great building for the community. so much thought was put into the design, inside and out.

  • Mariana Mariana

    The Alpine Library is awesome! I love that they brought the outdoors inside, beautiful trees, light fixtures, colors and accessibility for all. Really nice outdoor space where you can read, study, or hang out.

  • Carmela Reyna

    The new Alpine Library completely changes what you expect from your local library! It’s not just a dusty old room loaded with books! It’s huge, attractive, and lets in so much light! I love the Poet’s Patio–it’s perfect for taking a book and a coffee out on a nice day, or getting some work done in the sunshine! The tree inside is so cool, and the kids love all the areas designated for them! The community room is great, and I love that it has those rolling doors that open up to the patio. Amazing job!

  • http://buttontapper.com/ Laura Roberts

    Definitely a huge improvement on the old Alpine Library – lots more open space, much more light, and a colorful, unique look.

  • Christine Connell

    From the moment I walked in on May 21st I’ve loved the New Library. Every time I’m here I see happy kids jumping up and down as they discover puppets, new books, computers, stroking the 3 dimensional mural at the front door, and dashing in to attend programs. It’s all we hoped for and more!

  • Dianne Jacob

    Not only a gem of a building, but a model for the entire region. This “zero net energy” project — the first built by a local government in San Diego County — uses no more energy than it produces, thanks to its novel design and next-gen energy features. Best of all, it’s been a big hit with the community.

  • Sarah Gerber

    The alpine library is a beautiful building with amazing attention to detail. It is both functional and exquisite. We tried to stop by for 5 minutes to check it out soon after it opened, hours later I had to drag my kids out because there was so for them to explore they were no where near done. Can’t wait to go back.

  • Rufus Connell

    A space that is equally beautiful and functional. A thousand times better than the previous space.

  • Neville Connell

    Architecturally the Alpine Library inside and out provides stimulating areas for all ages, with spaces for young children to get their first exposure to the wonder of books, work rooms for teenagers to complete their high school projects, and quiet indoor and outdoor reading nooks for the older ones among us. But this is just scratching the surface of its potential. It is also a library connected to the world, not just through the small lens of its many computers but through large, projected screens that will allow anyone in Alpine to join live university classes from the best universities in our country. I wonder who will join me for the study of the ethics of the Fat Man on the Bridge?

  • Nicole Bernstein

    Another beautiful library by Manuel Oncina Architects and FPBA.

  • J. Douglas Wright

    Tha Alpine Library is a beautiful example of how great architectural and engineering design can become a new focal point and heart of the community! It’s scale, form, materials, colors, spaces and landscape give it a character whereby reading and learning will become a fun and inspiring experience.

  • Peder Norby

    Beautiful and sustainable, BRAVO! !

  • Daniel Cortez

    Beautiful library, the lighting makes all the colors pop. The nLight lighting controls offers an open protocol connectivity to the Distech BAS controls, it gives the end user flexibility when managing power. Exceeding the standard requirements by CA T24.

  • Albert Brocone

    The design of this library is gorgeous, and I think the zero net certification is something to be strived for in all future T24 projects. The lighting agency also did a great job here. Fantastically done!

  • David Cortez

    Great design and flow in the library. Love the lighting throug out the library. Making it the perfect setting to enjoy a great read.

  • Jessica

    The lighting is beautiful! It shows how lighting can create different dimensions and aspects accentuating a ceiling with only lights and gorgeous fixtures! From the parking lot, to the entrance, to the inside, you can tell much thought was put into this design.

  • Brian

    Looks great! I love how the lighting adds not only to the visual comfort of the space but contributes to the net zero objective and adds an architectural element to the space as well! Well done! Its great to see our county striving for energy efficiency and exciting to see manufacturers providing best-in-class solutions that lend themselves well to the effort! Will definitely try to get the kids here for one last summer reading library visit!

  • Renee

    Beautiful project…. you can truly appreciate how the use of lighting and lighting control shifts throughout the building to best serve the purpose of each space …. be it the reading nooks, the work rooms, the community space. Thanks for making our library beautiful, function and energy efficient!

  • Daniel Cortez

    Awesome fixtures! So cool and colorful, I’m constantly being amazed by what people can do with lighting.

  • archikvetch

    Books, right? We’re trying to engage reading, right? THIS IS SO TRIPPY!

  • Jason Bash

    I’ve visited this library many times and every time has been a pleasure. If we had libraries like this growing up, then I would have spent much more time there! The architectural design and lighting draws you in to stay and the fact that it is a net zero building puts this project over the top.

  • Dan Horning

    Nice variety of fixtures and the lighting works great with the décor-very cool!


    I have yet to visit this library but I look forward to taking my daughter there. The lighting makes everything look so colorful! Beautifully designed. Great job to all involved in this project!

  • Chelsea Mitchell

    This library is bright and fresh, just like the future of the children who will use this space to learn and grow their minds. Ascetically pleasing and wonderful use of light.

  • CJ

    Haven’t been to a lot libraries, being that it’s 2016 and all, but the design is pleasant and the lighting is phenomenal.

  • Brendan Kelliher

    This is an incredibly modern building, the whole look and feel is amazing. Its so bright and cheery, I wish i could hang out there more often!

  • Dave Arroyo

    This should be the standard of what a children’s library should look like. Amazing use of lighting

  • Lauren

    The fixtures chosen are bright and colorful and compliment the creative and fun interior very well. This is a library I would love to bring my daughter to!

  • Lee Davis

    This library is definitely one of a kind! The design is beautiful and the lighting really brings this place to life. My son would love all of the bright colors!

  • Chris Bale

    The textures and colors are amazing. The use of light and color in these different areas is very well thought out.

  • Noel Green

    Definitely a place I would love spending time in. Such a happy and uplifting space to enjoy some quality time with your children. Absolutely breathtaking!

  • Raven Alexander

    Can’t wait to visit. In love with the use of colors and lighting décor!

  • Kristin Miller

    Such an open an inviting space. The lighting flows effortlessly throughout each room. What a wonderful place to spend an afternoon. Very well done!


    Beautiful building. so proud to see the designs of buildings evolve into open spaces that are full of light and inviting to the positive energy of our communities.

  • Heather Salas

    What an absolutely beautiful library! The architecture, the décor and the lighting throughout make it so modern, fun and above all incredibly inviting! I look forward to visiting with my own family!

  • Jessica Campos

    This is exactly how a library should look! It’s beautiful and with so much open sapce and all the bright lights and colors it’s so warm and welcoming and appealing to the littlest set of eyes. With all the fun things to see it’ll make families looking forward to going back. I can’t wait to visit with my family and see my son’s eyes just wander all over at everything. A beautiful job well done!

  • Angela Spiñorita Blanca

    Beautiful library! I would love to visit it one day. I must say the lighting and decor make it a very inviting environment for someone who’s looking to study or enjoy a good book.

  • MR

    Great design. Very welcoming to kids and families. Wish I had a library like this growing up.

  • Matt G

    All I can say is wow! Vibrant and bright, very well done. I must say, I have never seen a library as unique as this one.

  • Margaret C

    Alpine has the most beautiful inviting all inclusive library. We have been blest with a wonderful tool to encourage reading in our children of any age. It has so many great features that welcome everyone of any age in the community. The designers listened to our input and used their skills and knowledge and did an amazing job. I love the fact that it is a Zero Net Energy building. Come see for yourself and you will understand why this is an Orchid beyond compare.

  • L.C.

    I love the vibrant atmosphere that was created through the use of color, texture and lighting! The design is so engaging and eye catching; the details are impeccable. Love that this is a net zero building!

  • Susan and George G

    My husband and I are thrilled with the new Alpine Library!! It is all we imagined it would be….and more! The unique areas speaking to different ages and a variety of users is a wonderful layout. The children’s experimental open room is so inviting. We look forward to introducing our grandchildren to the myriad of experiences. I guess I can sum up how awesome our new library is with this interaction we observed a few days after the opening. Several pre-teen kids were looking around, excitedly sharing the, “Look at this…” “Wow, did you see that?” One of them said, “We’ll be living here, it’s so neat!” It gave me goosebumps:)

  • Louise Fuller

    The Alpine Library is beautiful, love to see all the families coming in to use it. Nice addition to Alpine

  • Gary Weinstein

    Before moving from Alpine in 2008 I was deeply involved with the Friends group working hard to just acquire the land for the new library which was to be 10,000 sq. Now I see to my wonderment a magnificent architectural structure and much more. We never conceived Alpine would have such an outstanding structure. It’s obvious many people, companies, and governmental entities worked out of the box to create what must be a one of a kind in artistic beauty, spacious and environmentally forward thinking library. The arechtects must have gone out of their way with loving creativy to create such an edifice.

  • Mara Golder

    Wow! The lighting in this space is beautiful!! Wonderful color choices. Wish our library in Escondido was this nice! …definitely would love to spend time reading in here.

  • Mary G

    A feast for the eyes…outstanding color, lighting design…an orchid for sure!

  • Carol Shear

    Love the creative design, the use of color, and the way it differentiates space for engagement with multiple medias.

  • Angela Brookshire


  • Catherine Hand

    The design of this library and the incredible mosaic mural at the entrance definitely deserve and award.

  • Mariangel garcia

    I love our new library, it has a lot of resources and EVERY DAY activities for our kids.

  • Jen

    Such a beautiful environment to encourage residents of all ages to read and explore the world through books! The lighting, colors, design and variety of places to get comfy and read all make this a wonderful space! And I love that it’s a net zero building! So incredible!!

  • Anne

    The Alpine library is a beautiful addition to the Alpine Community!

  • Betsy

    So much to love about this beautiful, inviting, smart library….the colors, attention to detail, the tree-canopy light fixtures, the connection with nature, natural light, mural art, classy donor wall, private reading nooks inside and out, orientation to the community park, and much more! The low-maintenance construction materials and energy efficient systems address operating and maintenance costs going forward.

  • Chris

    This new library is so inviting and a great attraction for the community. The exterior draws you in and interior gives a warm homey feel.

  • luv2relax

    The new Alpine library is so Orchid-worthy! The gorgeous exterior architecture, the unique interior design, and energy conscious features make this building a gem!

  • Steve

    The interior space is welcoming and warm. The color choice helps make the space. Love the kids area!

  • Danielle

    This library is beautiful and inviting. Such a gift for the community.

  • Josh

    Simply amazing! Alpine won the library lottery jackpot.

  • paula

    Absolutely amazing!!

  • Nat Gat

    Incorporating the beauty of nature from within, with indoor tress. Feels like you’re in a storybook. Simply magnificent.

  • Cleo

    This library is so innovative in its design and efficient in it’s use of resources. A beautiful addition to this community and a much needed place for all ages to gather. The interior is colorful, creative and inviting. Good job!

  • Marian

    Love the feel of nature throughout. Unique color schemes, great kids area and even a outdoor patio area. So comfortable and inviting . Can not wait to go back!

  • Shannon

    One of my “happy places”…so open and filled with natural light…my family loves a trip to the library

  • Charles

    A remarkable design that makes this space seem larger, light filled and contemporary with cozy niches throughout. I love this new addition to the community, that is sure to inspire and educate our residents for generations.

  • April

    Beautiful library!! Vibrant colors and such a great use of space. We are all so happy to have this beautiful building in Alpine!

  • Sharon

    The new library is awesome and so beautiful!

  • Bobbi

    Love all the natural light!! Gorgeous!

  • dakota

    I just love this library

  • JP

    Such a magnificent library, with so many innovative and environmentally-conscious features!

  • Rheana Corirossi

    beautiful space!!!! Truly a great place to spend time

  • Michael J Perkins

    It took a long time to get this library built but it was more than worth it. I have over 30 years of experience as a librarian (an academic one, not a public librarian) and the architects of this library have created a magical and useful space. From the indoor trees to furniture sized for young readers they have hit all the buttons. I expect this library to provide many years of help and pleasure to the Alpine community and surrounding communities. This place will be a magnet

  • Suzie

    Our fabulous Alpine Library should be East County’s greatest tourist attraction. It’s a jaw dropping ,customer friendly, beautiful place to get away from the outside world and lose yourself in the wonderful world of books.

  • Juanita

    This library is so gorgeous that it should be in a magazine for architecture. It is a pleasure to go to this library and it’s just says come on in and you are welcomed.

  • Jo

    This library is as lovely as an orchid.

  • Elena Arce

    Yes!!! This library is amazing and makes me want to keep going back! it’s so cool!

  • Kitty

    This is the best library in all of the DC universes.

  • Angela

    Everyone must come to see this library. It is breathtaking.

  • Kay

    Lovely place to be every weekend

  • George

    I’m in the library at least several times a month and feel particularly lucky that our community has this new and attractive place for the whole family!

  • victoria

    this place is a peaceful place to be when you are bored

  • vikki

    It is a friendly atmosphere and I know that the staff are always willing to help

  • joey

    way to go Alpine

  • Cheryl

    This library is so beautiful and inviting to people of all ages. The various rooms for small children, teens and adults were all very well planned, and there are all kinds of classes and programs being offered each day of the month. This is not only a grand new addition for the community of Alpine, but for all of East County. It truly deserves an “Orchid Award.” Come see for yourself!

  • enewbold

    I love this library…love the trees, love the light, love the creative use of wall space, love the 3D printer, love the bookstore, love the kids’ areas, love the patio…so perfect for this wonderful community!

  • Paula Saksa

    The best way to get your kids and grandkids interested in reading is to have this in your town. It is so beautiful and inviting. It offers story time for the young ones and who doesn’t like to be read to. Also a space for older kids to study with all the resources at hand. While most of world seems on tilt this comes to town and reassures you life is good.

  • Andrea

    Absolutely beautiful on the outside as well as the inside. Each space is separate yet flows so easily into eachother. There is so much to look at that you’ll find something new every time you visit! Love this library!!

  • Heather driscoll

    Beautiful library and awesome staff!!

  • Megan Helland

    Alpine library is by far the best library around!! There are so many activities for the little ones (every day) and the play area is super fun ! They even have a whole teen area!! We love the Alpine library and will continue to enjoy it!!

  • Great-Grandma Julianna

    It’s not the LIBRARY in our LIFE, but the LIFE in our LIBRARY that counts!
    Here, our acclaimed Alpine Library exemplifies the lyrics of, “It’s A Wonderful Life” .

  • Susan Beliveau-del Castillo

    We love this library…everything about it. The building, the staff, the activities, the outdoor patio and playground. They have it all. Totally Top Notch!! LOVE that this was designed as a ZNE building. It’s gorgeous through and through and an architectural inspiration!

  • Sue

    The library is beautiful inside and out! A wonderful addition to Alpine.

  • Sheila

    what a beautiful space!

  • Joe Gerber

    A wonderful space with something for everyone. I look forward to enjoying the shady seats on the back patio for years to come

  • Amy

    Great space! Wonderful library.

  • Ginny

    Fantastic for the whole family!

  • Jennifer

    Great library for everyone.

  • Josephine

    I love this library! It’s just what we needed in Alpine!

  • Jane

    I absolutely LOVE the new Alpine library!!!

  • cari nickson

    Love the Library….. Yeah its finally here!! Best library ever

  • Julia Rider

    The library is absolutely beautiful.

  • Hilde Hinch

    Love the new library!!!!

  • Macy

    This library is absolutely gorgeous!!!

  • Betty Storrs

    The most beautiful and fabulous library I have ever seen!

  • MCP

    Gorgeous library and architecture!! Also LOVE LOVE the trees inside the building! It’s AMAZING!

  • Kelsey


  • Zaaj


  • Beverly

    It’s beautiful! Great service!!!

  • Gary Burlage

    I like this branch because it’s bigger, more books, movies, cds, enjoyable concerts!!!

  • t salo

    Fabulous library!

  • AJ

    I love the Alpine library!

  • Caryl Adams

    Great! I wish this library would’ve been here when I lived here. But I would come back and use it anyways. Really nice exterior and interior!

  • Jack Dostal

    The design of the new Alpine County Library is not only aesthetic pleasing indoors and out, but the curving walls also lend a sense of invitation and openness to visitors. The building is, indeed, spacious, airy, and well lit, and the display of books, CDs, movie DVDs, and artistic artifacts makes browsing a pleasure.

  • Al navarro

    Great design. Love the library!!

  • Donna Jean

    Beautiful facility! So fortunate to have this in Alpine

  • Tawny

    What a wonderful library! The staff is so helpful and knowledgeable.

  • Thomas

    Thank you, for such a wonderful library!

  • KK

    Go Alpine!

  • George

    Alpine is the best!

  • Cami

    Alpine is my favorite place to be.

  • Debbie VH

    Fantastic string quartet in our new Resource room last night–what a wonderful addition to our community.

  • Sally Butterworth

    beautiful Building, fits the community.

  • Allyson Kermath

    Perfectly matches the rural ruggedness of our community.

  • Todd

    Such an amazing facility; the design, color scheme and furniture are perfect!

  • Peggy Easterling

    The new library makes reading fun for everyone

  • Melanie

    Open and beautiful!

  • Casandra

    Love the colors and the space. Thank you, San Diego County!

  • Hale

    Always a joy to visit. The staff is so helpful.

  • Morgan

    Love the larger collection and personal space the size of this library affords you

  • Kevin

    Beautiful architecture. Very fitting for the town of Alpine. Big props to FPB/MO architects.

  • Laura Karel

    Amazing job!! LOVED the area for the children!

  • claudia

    Well Done Job!!!! Very interesting building , I love the art outside, it fits perfect to the natural environment of our community, great library, open areas, good illumination, a lot of books and materials for children and adults. I love the children area and also the musical activities for kids during the story time. Great staff!!!!! Thank you for this amazing gift to our community.

  • Gary

    Beautiful library. My 2 year old has loads of fun in the spacious children’s area. The net zero energy is a fabulous idea and all government buildings should be mandated to follow Alpine Library as the model. Thanks for bringing this to our community!!!!

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