Southeast Corner Exterior View

Harleigh Brandon's Chicago Library

2017 National DiscoverDesign Competition: Library + Community Space Design


• The neighborhood of Little Italy in Chicago lacks a library in close proximity for proper use of a library • The Chicago Public Library Foundation would like to build a branch library on Taylor Street in the heart of Little Italy in order to service many patrons across the neighborhood • This library needs a design that makes new history • This building will serve the neighborhood of Little Italy • The people going to the library will be those will be people with a variety of reasons

Collect Info

• The library will rest in the neighborhood of Little Italy which contains a rich history beginning with the Italian immigrants who came there • The library will be on the main street of Little Italy in a commercial area where there are many shops and restaurants that will surround the building • The area that the library will be located in will also be near the National Public Housing Museum opening in 2018 • The museum will draw even more traffic to the area surrounding the library • As the library will be a branch of the main Chicago Public Library it will most likely be funded by the Chicago Public Library Foundation • This Foundation has helped to develop the Chicago libraries and has the mission of connecting communities to each other and the world, and giving a way for Chicagoans to read and discover at the many branches that the foundation has built to achieve this goal • The library building should include large windows to allow for natural light to come into the building • The building should include a mix of materials that balance each other • The interior of the building should include large expansive spaces that allow for a logical flow of library traffic to the many areas and services offered by the library • Both the interior and exterior of the building should blend into the neighborhood through the use of materials, windows, and the overall feeling of the neighborhood • The building needs to have easily defined interior spaces that are clearly designated as for the purpose and ages of the people they are serving • Overall the building needs to serve as a not only a nod to the past but a pioneer towards the future of the Little Italy neighborhood

Brainstorm Ideas

During this stage of the design, I began with a site analysis. This helped in discovering what surrounded the building, the kinds of buildings that are already there, the way the sun will shine in the morning, and the way that the building should be oriented on the site. Next was the bubble diagram. The purpose of the diagram was to discover the groupings of the spaces on each floor, the ways that people might move throughout the building, and the size of the spaces compared to one another taking a step towards actually defining the spaces of the building. Last in this step of the design process, was sketching the floor plan for my building. This step is where the building suddenly becomes more realistic as the scale of the spaces and how they are laid out in the building is finally decided. many things from the bubble diagram shifted as I came to a better understanding of how the building spaces were fitting together, and adding the third floor as well as the open areas in the building really defined the space a bit more than in the bubble diagram.

Develop Solutions

This step mainly involved taking the sketches that I had drawn and transferring them into Revit. Truly this is where the building takes its shape, the floor plan of the building in this stage changed. I began to realize better ways of opening up the building and orienting the space to include community areas. This is also the step where many of the design elements were added that I had not thought of when designing the floor plan, things like the roof-line, aluminum details, and materials. The materials are one of the most important refinements that took place during this stage as each was carefully chosen to reflect various aspects of the community. The gray brick of the solid exterior walls was chosen because the majority of the neighborhood of Little Italy is red-brick buildings. The gray brick ties the library into the community as it is an ode to the history of the neighborhood with a modern element involved to represent the future development of the neighborhood. The glass was chosen as another element to join the neighborhood and the building together. The lack of barriers between the neighborhood and the building just exemplifies all that this library will do for its community as well as create an open and inviting appearance. Lastly, the blue aluminum was chosen for the detail items because of its vibrancy. The bright color not only cohesively ties the building together but also showcases the vibrant community where the building resides. This step of the design process finalizes the bones of the structure and adds the design elements that not only make the building itself cohesive but also the building cohesive in its community.

Final Design

During this step, the building truly came to life as the interior furnishings were added, and the landscaping came together. Overall I believe that the finished product represents the community, not only does it represent the neighborhood's style, vibrancy, and sense of community, but also the future of the community in which people can gather and learn in this modern communal space. The design of the building benefits the community as it preserves the rich history of the neighborhood, and helps foster new history and growth in the future. With this library, the community's need for a gathering space where knowledge may be pursued is fulfilled.


Competition Jury 3 years ago
Great use of materials and organization of spaces. I can see how your library would appeal to a variety of people. -SS
Competition Jury 3 years ago
I think the exterior is very dynamic. The interior has more of a hotel feel. There was not as much developing ideas as some other projects but it’s good that you researched other libraries -AR
Muneer ahmed 10 months ago
I am extremely delighted in for this web journal. Its a useful subject. It help me all that much to take care of a few issues. Its chance are so awesome and working style so rapid. taskade for students
Muneer ahmed 9 months ago
Good composed article. It will be steady to any individual who uses it, including me. Continue doing what you are doing – can'r hold up to peruse more posts. Fókuszpályázat
Muneer ahmed 5 months ago
This is exceptionally instructive substance and composed well for a change. It's pleasant to see that a few individuals still see how to compose a quality post! 冰鎮西瓜
Muneer ahmed 5 months ago
A very awesome blog post. We are really grateful for your blog post. You will find a lot of approaches after visiting your post. I was exactly searching for. Thanks for such post and please keep it up. Great worksmart board
Muneer ahmed 2 months ago
I am extremely delighted in for this web journal. Its a useful subject. It help me all that much to take care of a few issues. Its chance are so awesome and working style so rapid. oremanga
Muneer ahmed 2 months ago
I am extremely delighted in for this web journal. Its a useful subject. It help me all that much to take care of a few issues. Its chance are so awesome and working style so rapid. library of heaven's path
Muneer ahmed 1 month ago
First You got a great blog .I will be interested in more similar topics. i see you got really very useful topics, i will be always checking your blog thanks. Europa-Road Kft.
Muneer ahmed 1 month ago
I'm constantly searching on the internet for posts that will help me. Too much is clearly to learn about this. I believe you created good quality items in Functions also. Keep working, congrats! Medical Face Mask
Muneer ahmed 1 month ago
I truly awed after read this in light of some quality work and educational contemplations . I just wanna express profound gratitude for the essayist and want you to enjoy all that life has to offer for coming!.
Muneer ahmed 1 month ago
I really enjoy simply reading all of your weblogs. Simply wanted to inform you that you have people like me who appreciate your work. Definitely a great post. Hats off to you! The information that you have provided is very helpful. my lowes life