LOCATION : Glen Ellyn, Illinois
MARKET : Cultural, Cultural
Main Branch

Strengthening community

Physically constrained by their original facility, the Village of Glen Ellyn commissioned Cordogan Clark & Associates to design its 52,000 SF facility. The library, located at Duane Street and Prospect Avenue, was designed to house 175,000 volumes.

Public meeting rooms, circulation and the youth services department are on the ground floor. Designed to operate independently, the meeting rooms are fully separable from the remainder of the building. The Adult Services department and the Main Reading Room are on the second floor, to better isolate them acoustically from street traffic and the adjacent rail line. Reading areas are separately defined within the Youth and Adult Services areas. The partial third floor contains the administration offices, Boardroom, and Technical Services department. Many of these spaces flow into one another, providing an open feeling and allowing for future modifications.

The new library incorporates many design features that make it a unique and attractive facility. The three-story masonry building houses a contemporary version of a traditional main reading room. Its tall oak-trimmed volumetric ceiling of the main adult reading room slopes upward to feature windows that provide generous amounts of natural light. These windows also provide public views of the activities within.

Glen Ellyn is unique both for its rolling landscape and the quality and coherence of its buildings. The architects were asked to create a library that responded to the Glen Ellyn context. The library, reminiscent of both the Glen Ellyn building fabric and of traditional Richardsonian library prototypes, evolved as a logical expression of construction requirements and internal uses.

Building construction is primarily of true loadbearing masonry exterior walls, with steel framing for the interior floors and columns. The north wall, adjacent to the rail line, has limited fenestration, both for 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.

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.