Physically constrained by their original facility, the Village of Glen Ellyn commissioned Cordogan, Clark & Associates to design a new 52,000 S.F. library. The new library, located at Duane Street and Prospect Avenue, houses 175,000 volumes; virtually double the size of the former library.
The new Glen Ellyn Public Library incorporates a number of design features that make it a unique and attractive facility. Columns, instead of walls, separate many of the various areas, providing an open feeling and allowing for future modifications. A contemporary version of a traditional main reading room is included that features a tall oak-trimmed volumetric ceiling that slopes upward to windows that provide generous amounts of natural light. These windows also provide public views of the activities within the facility. The library contains a Youth Services department, Adult Services department, and several public meeting rooms that are designed to be operated independently and are fully separable from the remainder of the building.
Building construction of the library is primarily of true load bearing masonry exterior walls, with steel framing for the interior floors and columns. The north wall, adjacent to the rail line, has limited fenestration for optimum sound reduction as well as energy efficiency. Building core and "service" elements are located on this elevation, which allows the other elevations to be more open. The roof and walls are heavily insulated for optimum energy efficiency.
Glen Ellyn is unique both for its rolling landscape and the quality and coherence of its buildings. The new library responds to its context and is reminiscent of both the Glen Ellyn building fabric and of traditional library prototypes, evolved as a logical expression of construction requirements and internal uses. The Library's architecture, emanating from the rich historical context of Glen Ellyn, enhances its important civic nature, while reinforcing a sense of community cohesiveness. The library won a Community Beautification award from Glen Ellyn.