Five-Ate-Five's project

2017 National DiscoverDesign Competition: Library + Community Space Design


The purpose of the project is to design a community space and a library in the Little Italy/University Village community. The project was proposed by the Chicago Housing Authority and Chicago Public Library in order to promote civic and community activities.

Collect Info

I added a shareable presentation that has the research that I conducted for the project. I looked into multiple local factors around the Little Italy/University Village area that could have influenced the design of the building.

Brainstorm Ideas

My main idea was to consider a central design where there is large central space in the middle of the building and rooms branch off from the center. All traffic and movement in the building was suppose to limited to the large central space. The central space, when not in use, could have also been used as a location for library events. For the aesthetics, I saw that Little Italy/University Village had a lot of influences from Dutch and Pre-war architecture. I wanted the library to blend in with the "townhouse-esque" architecture.

Develop Solutions

The central space was suppose to play a huge role in the design of the building. I experimented with different way to create a central design while maintaining a sense of excitement within the building and its floor plan. I also added another floor to the building as the design went on because in the early phases my building was lacking a sense of community. The library part of the challenge was there but it did not emphasize community. I added classrooms, large meeting rooms, and lounge area in order to develop a sense of community.

Final Design

For my final design I went back to my preliminary ideas and expanded upon them. I looked further into townhouse designs and implemented them. I saw that townhouses have an array of windows against on facade of a building. The type of window may also change depending on which floor the window is located (windows on the second floor may be arched while windows on the third floor may just be rectangular). There are also a lot of motif that cover the building and cornices that emphasize the roof of the building and the separate floors. For the floor plan, I decided to make it more traditional. The floor plan still has a central space while room surround it but the central space has no definite shape (such as a circle). The central component of the floor plan blends in with the entities that surround it. The community space idea was emphasized through classrooms, lounge areas, and large community meeting rooms.