Library design by cookie cutter has been Chicago's architectural norm for so long now that it was a shock last month when Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced something different: Plans for a new Chinatown branch that would — stop the presses! — be tailored to its site. The promising proposal, by Brian Lee of SOM, calls for a two-story, round-edged building at 2100 S. Wentworth Ave., across Wentworth from the CTA's Cermak-Chinatown station. Sheathed in glass and vertical fins that would double as sunshades, the library's distinctive shape and screenlike facade could endow it with a civic presence that its cookie-cutter counterparts conspicuously lack.
SOM in the Press
In Chicago, New Chinatown Library Breaks the Mold
Source: Chicago Tribune