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Architects Selected To Design New Library And Housing Facilities

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Three architecture firms were announced Sunday that will design new Chicago Public Library branches that are co-located with housing facilities.

The firms were selected by the Chicago Housing Authority, Chicago Public Library and the Chicago Department of Planning and Development after a design competition that started in late 2016, the mayor's office said in a statement. They submitted proposals that were judged on quality and context, sustainability and innovation.

The three firms include:

  • John Ronan Architects for the library's Independence Branch at 4022 N. Elston in Irving Park;
  • Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) for the library's Roosevelt Branch near Taylor and Ada streets on the Near West Side; and
  • Perkins+Will for the library's Northtown Branch at Western and Pratt avenues in West Ridge.

"These three firms will bring world-class design to new housing and community anchors so that neighborhood residents can enjoy the best of what design has to offer," said Chicago Public Library Commissioner Brian Bannon in the statement.

All three firms have Chicago roots and helped build community-based projects such as the Chinatown Branch Library, Jones College Preparatory High School and the Gary Comer Youth Center, the mayor's office said.

Each branch will offer an early childhood learning space, access to the Library's Teacher in the Library program for homework assistance, technology and other programs or resources, the mayor's office said.

Concept designs for the new Independence (left) and Northtown branches of the Chicago Public Library, designed by architecture firms John Ronan Architects and Perkins+Will, respectively. | City of Chicago

The new library branches will also offer technology and workforce programs for adults, including computer classes, digital literacy coaching, book clubs and other training, according to the mayor's office.

The firms will work with the city and community members through design workshops to come up with a final design of each facility that meets the needs of its community, the mayor's office said. Construction is slated to begin by the end of 2017 and finish in winter 2018.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2017. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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