Vortex Young Adult Library

Interior Architecture Award Submission

The Vortex, draws young adults into an energized space they helped design and name. Teens demanded that the 3500 SF distinct space be a microcosm of the “real adult library” with its diversity of resources and increased book collection, but with an identity and form that speaks to their interests and aesthetics. There are moments of surprise, from a large beckoning animé wall wrap announcing the computer “bar” to the “Think Epic” chain drape, two-sided seating for facing the performance zone or sitting towards the media lounge digital consoles. In the age of a 24/7 flood of digital information, teens seem to hunger for increased casual interactions, which pushed the design to incorporate a social catalyst, that of the Big Table, a communal feast of face-to-face time. Situated under eye-popping origami lights, the hefty wood tables became the library’s method of employing a real social network that helps foster a welcoming atmosphere. Attracted to the Vortex imagery, Asian influences, clever materials, informal and formal study space that re-configures, and a surprising wall covering that at first glance appears Victorian, teens control and interact with this relevant, casual, and carefully crafted environment.

Nagle Hartray Architecture
Associate Architect
Architecture Is Fun, Inc. (Design Architect)
Fountaindale Public Library
  • Charter Sills & Associates Inc.
  • Play Purveyors
  • Sighn
General contractor
Power Construction
Bolingbrook, Illinois