Launched! Richmond Public Library’s Launchpad officially open at Brighouse branch
RATIO wrote this on Jun 29

Just in time for Canada’s 150th birthday, the Richmond Public Library hosted the official opening of the Launchpad. Mayor Malcolm Brodie and Richmond Public Library Chief Librarian Susan Walters amongst others made the opening official at the ribbon cutting ceremony.

Launchpad is a  collaborative learning space dedicated to enhancing and educating digital literacy in the Brighouse branch of the Richmond Public Library. In early 2017 the Launchpad was renovated and expanded with funding from a successful Canada 150 grant application. The RATIO-designed space provides community learning opportunities and features a lecture space, a dedicated classroom, a flexible learning space, and creation stations.

From the RPL’s press release:

“The re-designed Launchpad significantly increases the library’s ability to provide the public with interactive hands-on experiences with a wide variety of digital tools and services,” said Susan Walters, Chief Librarian at Richmond Public Library. “The new space also supports the new BC school curriculum with exciting programs that promote education, career, and economic success.

The library gratefully acknowledges the Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program and the City of Richmond for their financial support for the new Launchpad. The library partnered with the architectural firm RATIO to design and build the new space.”

From Mike Mammone, RATIO principal:

“Congratulations to Susan Walters, Anne Bechard and all the staff for their hard work and passion dedicated to this great project. The Library’s highly innovative programming and outreach to both traditional  library and high technology users is where all the heavy lifting was done. This kind of innovative user group programming is really what makes this type of space successful.  The work at Richmond Public Library is a great example of where the development of a long term plan is essential to transition existing spaces into a modern communication and technology hub. A well thought out plan makes our jobs as architects easy.  Well done RPL!!”


Learn more about the Launchpad:

RATIO’s  Launchpad project concept

Richmond Public Library  Launchpad programming

Richmond News story


RATIO works with the City of Richmond and other municipalities on community infrastructure and cultural projects:

Vancouver Public Library – Digital Inspiration Lab – Concept

Pitt Meadows Recreation Centre

Brawn Pump Station in Langley, BC


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How the need for confidentiality impacts workspace design direction
RATIO wrote this on Jun 27

Workspaces for banks, credit unions, law offices and wealth advisory are amongst those who require confidential space.  So, how to design for confidentiality in this era of open-plan workspaces?

The American Society of Interior Designers’ (ASID) ICON magazine explored the issue of designing for confidentiality through dialogue with 4 designers including RATIO partner, Christopher Pollard.

The challenge is:

“How do law firms, judiciary offices, and financial institutions—places that value confidentiality above almost all else—address design issues like office layout and acoustic and visual privacy? And, how do they incorporate these needs into the image they want portrayed to their clients?”

Key is understanding client values. Designing for flexibility. Creating space with visual and auditory privacy.

From Christopher Pollard:

“We work towards a deeper understanding of our clients’ values, identifying what is important to their customers,” notes Pollard.

“An explicit understanding of the overarching nature of what the organization is trying to achieve, i.e., its ethos and mission,” says Christopher Pollard, principal of Vancouver, British Columbia-based architecture, interior design, and planning firm, Ratio, “and the specific objectives of the project at hand are the key considerations to be addressed at the first meeting.”

From Designed for Confidentiality, page 50ASID ICON magazine May/June 2017 issue 

 These tips from  Designed for Confidentiality:

“One size does not fit all—get clients thinking about different levels of confidentiality.

Involve needed acoustical or security consultants in the design process from the start.

Keep in mind that the greater acoustical concern is between offices, not the corridor.

Don’t let necessary security concerns and technology interrupt the aesthetics of a space.

Find unique ways to promote relaxed interaction between your client and their customers.”


Download a PDF of the article: ICON Designing for Confidentiality – May_June 2017


The RATIO team has provided architectural, interior design and planning services to credit unions and other workplaces for over 50 years.


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