The International Interior Design Association (IIDA) and the American Library Association have announced Skidmore, Owings & Merrill as the Best of Competition winner of the 2016 Library Interior Design Awards for the project Chicago Public Library, Chinatown Branch. The biennial Library Interior Design Awards recognize achievement in library interior design aesthetics, creativity, and function.
"The design of the Chinatown Branch of the Chicago Public Library balances elegant, but simple aesthetics, pragmatic programming, and green design solutions for one of the busiest libraries in the city. This project exemplifies how libraries have moved beyond their original purpose to become places of gathering, education, connection, entertainment, and more," said IIDA Executive Vice President and CEO Cheryl S. Durst, Hon. FIIDA, LEED AP. "We are so pleased to honor Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP as the Best of Competition."
Projects were judged by a panel of distinguished professionals, including Christy S. Cain, IIDA, RID, LEED AP BD+C, Principal, idea|span; Jessica N. Kayongo, J.D., M.A., Sociology Librarian, Hesburgh Libraries, University of Notre Dame; Mindy Sorg, IIDA, NCIDQ, LEED AP, Interior Designer, OPN Architects; and Stasia Czech Suleiman, IIDA, NCIDQ, Vice President/Senior Project Interior Designer, HOK.
"An organic, multi-story structure immediately connects the patron to the space through vertical elements recalling the exterior of the Chinatown branch of the Chicago Public Library. Pops of color create and define areas for different user groups while also offering visual connection to adjacent collections," said Suleiman on behalf of the jury. "Everything about this design is a nod to the culture of the Chinatown neighborhood it serves."