Champaign Public Library

Distinguished Building Award Submission

The new Library replaced a 40 year old building that had not kept pace with the needs of the community. The Board decided to remain on the existing site to help anchor the redeveloping downtown. A new street was built separating parking from the library creating a traditional urban site.

The new building contains 121,000 square feet organized on two patron levels with the administration offices located on a third floor mezzanine. A 115 foot sky light leads the patron from the entry lobby to the various collections along the central stair. The Conference Center and Café are located off the main lobby.

An energy efficient, environmentally friendly building, the 16’ ceiling height in the main reading room harvests daylight. Solatubes provide additional daylighting. General lighting levels are controlled by a light sensing dimmer system. Underfloor air distribution saves energy and improves comfort. Patron and employee spaces benefit from views to the outside.

Natural materials are important to the design. Limestone is used for exterior cladding and interior walls to unite exterior and interior. Bamboo is used as flooring, wall, and ceiling finishes. Service desks, end panels and interior furnishings are crafted from bamboo and limestone.

Ross Barney Architects
Associate Architect
Gorski Reifsteck
Champaign Public Library
  • Henneman Engineering, Inc.
General contractor
PKD Incorporated
Champaign, IL