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9/7/15

SOM in the Press

Chicago's Chinatown Library Breaks Cookie-Cutter Mold

Source: Chicago Tribune

After years of building cookie-cutter libraries that failed to live up to Chicago's reputation as the first city of American architecture, the city has finally broken the mold with an elegant new branch in Chinatown. 

This rounded triangle of steel and glass, its exterior lined with bronze-colored aluminum fins, is everything its banal, prototype predecessors are not: tailored to its physical surroundings and cultural context; a vessel for stirring spaces and abundant natural light; functional and efficient but also inspiring.

Public buildings can be as innovative and memorable as private ones, this one reminds us. And they don't have to break the bank.

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