The West Loop Branch of the Chicago Public Library was honored in the 2019 AIA Illinois Honor Awards with a Frank Lloyd Wright Award. Organized by the Illinois chapter of the American Institute of Architects, the AIA Illinois Honor Awards recognize people and projects that reflect the transformative power of design, and the contributions of the architecture profession to communities throughout the state. One of several categories in the annual program, the Frank Lloyd Wright Award recognizes a project that has made a significant impact by new design or the renovation of an existing building.
An adaptive reuse project, the two-story West Loop library opened in January 2019 as the first branch in its neighborhood. Across two existing conjoined buildings, which were formerly part of the Harpo Studios campus, the library offers a contemporary cultural and social center for West Loop residents while preserving a piece of the neighborhood’s architectural heritage. A weathered steel exterior unifies the facade and leads to a steel-framed entrance while, inside, visitors find a loft-like space that reflects the local factory-warehouse style.