Evanston Public Library
Evanston, IL

By night, the lofty corner reading room of this public library is envisioned to glow symbolically as a lantern-of-learning that anchors the intersection where a major diagonal street meets a shift in the street grid. Situated one level up with the Librarian desks, on a base that contains the Children’s Library and community meeting rooms, the reading room is shaded during the day by large wooden louvers that moderate direct exposures to the sun.


A functional block across the back is comprised of book stacks, library support areas, and vertical circulation and is screened to the reading room by a continuous semi-transparent metal screen. An upper-level audio visual room floats overhead as a spherical-form.

To meet the requirement that the library be built in two program-complete phases, the design proposes a book-like plan, with the juncture of the two phases at the center seam, a design strategy that extends a front reading room and support stacks behind.

CLIENT: With Paul Gates Architect

AREA: 110,000 sf; To be built in 2 phases

RENDERINGS: Peter Matthews

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