San Francisco, California, United States
Envisioning a library as a community center
This two-story branch library is a civic, educational, and social hub in Chicago’s Chinatown. The bronze aluminum and glass enclosed structure is an instantly recognizable local landmark, easily accessible by public transit to serve residents of the surrounding Armour Square, South Loop, and Bridgeport neighborhoods. The former Chinatown library was one of the most visited of Chicago Public Library’s (CPL) eighty locations. Before selecting the architects for its replacement, the city’s Public Building Commission hosted a session for community members, librarians, and other stakeholders to envision what the new library should be. The group concluded that a modern urban branch library goes beyond being a source of encyclopedic knowledge and should serve as a community anchor where citizens can connect with global resources and ideas.