SOM in the Press

SOM-Designed Chicago Public Library Branch Opens to the Public

Photo © Tom Harris

Source: Architectural Digest

Chicago’s West Loop is constantly evolving. In the area‘s latest development, Oprah’s onetime studio has been transformed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM Architects) into the neighborhood’s first-ever public library. The site, donated to the city by developer Sterling Bay, is a two-story, adaptive-reuse project that reimagines the original building’s industrial elements into a contemporary literary and cultural center for Chicagoans.

“The unique architecture and scale of the West Loop reflects a vital part of Chicago’s industrial history, while the growing residential and mixed-use character of the neighborhood points to an exciting vision of the city’s future,” says SOM design partner Brian Lee. “By preserving the original building structure and carefully adapting it for the much-needed community library, the West Loop Branch is at the center of this Chicago story. It creates a key neighborhood hub and serves as a warm and welcoming public destination for visitors from all parts of Chicago.”

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