The Richard H. Driehaus Foundation has honored the Chicago Public Library, Chinatown Branch with a 2017 Award for Architectural Excellence in Community Design. Awarded second place in its category at the 23rd Annual Chicago Neighborhood Development Awards, the Chinatown Branch was honored for its unique design and the dynamic role it plays in the community.
“This is more than just a place for books,” said Brian Bannon, commissioner and CEO of the Chicago Public Library. “It’s a center for community learning. It represents a new vision for our neighborhood libraries and shows that when you create a dynamic public space it will activate a neighborhood.”
SOM was selected by the Public Building Commission of Chicago to provide design-build services for the Chinatown Branch library, in collaboration with Wight & Company, the architect of record. Since opening in August 2015, the library has served as a civic, educational, and social hub for Chicago’s Chinatown neighborhood, with a flexible design that accommodates a range of community activities.
The library has received numerous distinctions including the 2016 American Institute of Architects/American Library Association Award, a 2016 National Design-Build Award from the Design-Build Institute of America, and a 2016 Interior Design Best Of Award.