The Chinatown Branch of the Chicago Public Library serves as a new civic, educational, and social hub for Chicago’s Chinatown neighborhood, providing a much-needed public gathering place geared toward inclusive community activities and driven by technology-based learning.
The Chinatown Branch recognizes the critical role that the library plays in uniting the Chinatown community. It creates a key community anchor and an enduring cultural asset that will serve community members of all ages and accommodate diverse activities. — Brian Lee, SOM Design Partner
SOM’s team worked closely with CPL officials and with architect of record Wight & Co. to design a highly efficient building for present and future flexibility, geared toward inclusive community activities and driven by technology-based learning. Throughout the 16,000-square-foot library, a sequence of interconnected spaces creates a sense of discovery and exploration. The community area is fully visible from the street, allowing library patrons to look out at the urban surroundings and for pedestrians to take notice of the activities inside.