Prospect Heights, Illinois
Addition & Renovation
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Carow · Architects · Planners provided architectural, interior design, and landscape design services for the Prospect Heights Public Library, located in Prospect Heights, Illinois, which consisted of a reorganization of the former 13,500 square foot library building and a new addition of 12,500 square feet. The new expansion shifts the center of the library and wraps new building on three sides. A new entrance, complete with fountain and planting, is created on the north side with two outdoor courtyards on the northeast and northwest corners.
A curvilinear window wall and sun screen of the addition's south wall face open lawns, a stream and woods. A new parking lot doubles the number of parking spaces. The former children's reading room on the north has become the new meeting room and main entrance lobby. The circulation desk remains in its former location with a new information desk centered just beyond the functional center of the expanded library. The main adult reading room is in the new addition; the children's reading room are on one side and the expanded non-public workrooms and staff areas are on the other. The renovation improves the former building's lighting and acoustics, opens vistas into the landscaped courtyards and maintains the openness of the plan. The undulating curve of the north canopy and walkways and the south window-wall softens the rectangular form of the original square and takes advantage of the view toward the curving stream. The exterior canopy and walkways follow the curve of the window wall.
The firm designed plantings of trees, flowering ornamentals, shrubs and groundcover that provide a full range of colors through the years with spring blossoms, fruits and berries in the summer and colorful foliage in the fall. Bittersweet and ivy soften fences and building walls.