Rose468's project

2017 National DiscoverDesign Competition: Library + Community Space Design


A library and community center within walking distance to residents should be available in every neighborhood that way certain resources are provided. Therefore, it's essential to create a library and community center that will appeal to the majority of the neighborhood. Most of the residents are 30 years old and have a household size around two. Little Italy, also known as University Village, has been around since the late 1880's. It's important to create an overall design that fits in with the surrounding buildings, which contain certain aspects of architecture from that time period. For example, the majority of the buildings in the neighborhood are brick and are multiple stories high. The library also needs to appeal to people of all ages. For example, there needs to be a children's area, adult learning center, and teen area. A community meeting room also needs to be included so the library can be used as a community center. Overall, a library and community center needs to be created that will reflect the entire community.

Collect Info

The site is easy to access from West Taylor and Ada street. Parking is located on both sides of the street, which will most likely have to be used for visitors due to the small size of the site. Different walkways for pedestrians are also located around the site. For vegetation streets and sidewalks are aligned with trees. The library will also be located close to three parks. Little Italy was established in the late 1880s, therefore there is already an established architecture that the museum's overall design will have to reflect. The majority of the buildings in the neighborhood contain brick and are multiple stories. On the ground levels most apartment buildings contain a store or cafe and have apartments above them. Forty percent of the homes and apartments contain only 2 bedrooms, which shows smaller families live in the area. 43% of the residents rent apartments. The average household size is 2 and median age of the residents is 30. Majority of the residents are young adults and college students. 50.8% of the residents are male and 49.2% of the residents are female. Also median household income is $84,920.

Brainstorm Ideas

When I first started this project I wasn't really sure how I wanted my floor plan to layout. Once I got the requirements for the project I began my making two different lists. The first list was all the rooms that would be on the first floor and the second list was all the rooms on the second floor. This allowed me to organize my rooms and determine room relationships. Then I began sketching multiple floor plans that helped me come to my final design. Once I had a couple floor plans sketched out I was able to work with my fellow classmates that gave me suggestions on what to change or told me what they liked about my floor plan. After that I started drawing my floor plan on Revit. While drawing on Revit I was able to adjust my rooms so they would fit to scale. Not only did I have to adjust my rooms, but I moved some of them around. For my exterior design, due to research I had done before sketching I wanted my exterior walls to have brick to fit in with the overall neighborhood design.

Develop Solutions

When designing this library it was important to me that the library fit in with the overall design of the neighborhood. I didn't want the exterior design to feel like it doesn't belong. Therefore, the exterior walls have brick that way the overall design flows with the neighborhood. I also have two curtain walls in the lobby. One of the curtain walls is an entrance to the garden. This allows visitors to see the colorful plants being grown and gives it an indoor outdoor environment. Curtain walls located at the main entrance and garden entrance provides plenty of natural light that will brighten up the room. Multiple windows are also located throughout the library, especially in reading rooms, so natural light is provided and opens up the space. Tile floors that look like wood are placed throughout the whole library because they are durable and easy to clean. If food or liquid is spilled it's easier for the employees to clean up and doesn't ruin the floors. Also if mud and snow are dragged in having tile floors makes it easy to clean. On the first floor past the lobby is where the children's area and early childhood is located. This is an open concept area because parents usually have children that are different ages. This allows them to be able to watch both kids and go back and forth. The teen area is closed off to the adult learning center, so they have their own space to work on projects or read a book and relax. Having an efficient HVAC system is very important to do the harsh transitions of Chicago weather.

Final Design

Little Italy needed a library/community center within walking distance that would appeal to all ages. To appeal to all ages it was important that the different age groups had their own space. Early childhood and children's learning center are located on the first floor. Both children's areas contain a open concept between them ,so children can go back and forth. The senior and adult learning area is located on the second floor next to the community meeting room. In the senior/ adult learning area there are tables, couches, and chairs that can be used for relaxation or working on a project. Teen area is also on the second floor but is separated by a door. Closing off the teen media room from the adult/senior learning area allows them to have their own space. This teen area is meant to be used for multiple purposes such as a maker space. Their are couches in chairs for reading books and relaxing. On the other side of the room, there are desks that can be used for projects and even have computers on them. In the lobby, it was important for me to have curtain walls. One curtain is used as the main entrance and the other one serves as an entrance from the garden. Having curtain walls makes the inside of the lobby feel big and bright. The overall design of the neighborhood is very traditional with most of the buildings having brick. Curtain walls allowed me to add a modern twist, but still fit in with the overall design of the neighborhood. In all of the reading rooms there are multiple windows, so natural light is provided. Overall, I do think this design solves the problem because this library fits in with the neighborhoods design and appeals to everyone of different ages. The library can also be used as a community center due to having a large community meeting room.