How can people best use libraries? Get your early idea out on paper with notes, sketches, lists or photos to help see your ideas take shape.
Libraries as Community Spaces
Chicago Public Libraries (CPL) are open, public spaces that provide free resources for our communities. Libraries may contain facilities such as an information center, a children’s area, an adult reading room, teen media rooms, and community meeting spaces. The CPL’s goal is to encourage community interaction by creating more open spaces and transparency in their buildings, which increases the richness of interactions among patrons and between patrons and their local communities.
What types of spaces need to be included in and around the library?
Libraries have many spaces to serve different functions, resources and ages. Consider these typical library spaces and average square footage needed.
- Create a bubble diagram to map out all the different spaces and how they are connected. Mapping all the needed spaces will help shape your overall design later on.
- Use Google Maps to view and print out an aerial photo of your location. Plot out the site dimensions (75’x125’). How can you best use the site based on the location of other buildings, roads, sidewalks, parking, bus stops, etc. Also, what will fit on the lot? Hint: you will have to build up to make it fit! Upload the aerial map and sketch and write about how the surrounding area might impact your design.
- On a piece of tracing paper placed over the aerial photo of your school, sketch a diagram showing a large arc around the building to show the path of the sun throughout the day. This drawing is called a site analysis diagram (Remember, the sun rises in the east and sets in the west).
- Spend some time looking at the aerial photo of your location. What types of other buildings surround it? Homes, businesses, parks, parking lots, or an empty field? How will these other buildings impact the design?
- What types of streets surround your housing? Are they busy or quiet?
- Consider the climate in Chicago and how it will impact the materials you choose. Consider how your library uses energy and natural resources to minimize the building’s impact on the environment.