AIA Chicago Design Excellence Awards

Champaign Public Library

Honor Award

An abundance of daylight distinguishes the interior of this 121,000-square-foot public library. One juror called the building, "an excellent example of an important civic monument." Every design decision seems to have resulted in bringing more light into the building's two stories and a third-floor mezzanine that hugs the south and east sides of the building. These include a skylight 115 feet long centered over the main stair, the reading room's 16-foot ceiling, and plentiful windows. In addition, light reflects off the limestone wall cladding and bamboo ceilings, walls and floors. The neutral-toned interior receives colorful touches in the children's and teen's sections through the use of brightly colored end panels and furniture. "The interiors are treated with care and the materials have been selected and detailed with unusual concert for a total composition," one juror remarked. "The furnishings are elegant partners with the interior spaces, which are previewed by a very noble stairway core."

Ross Barney Architects
Associate Architect
Gorski Reifsteck
Champaign Public Library
PKD, Inc. (construction manager); Henneman Engineering Inc. (mechanical); Stearn-Joglekar (structural); Infrastructure Engineering Inc. (civil); Oslund and Associates (landscape)
General contractor
Felmley Dickerson
Champaign, IL