PUBLIC LIBRARY TEEN LOFT

Illuminated Letters Spell Out Ownership
Photo © © Doug Snower
Reading Bar With Coffee Shop Attitude
Photo © © Doug Snower
Flexible Graphic Furnishings Add Informality
Photo © © Doug Snower
Student Selected Seating
Photo © © Doug Snower
Group Spaces to Claim
Photo © © Doug Snower
Time to Study
Photo © © Doug Snower
Architects
Architecture Is Fun
Location
Year
2007
Cost
100K - 1M
Stories
1-5 Stories
Client
Evanston Public Library
Team
Architecture Is Fun, Sharon Exley, Peter Exley, Fun Finders

CARVING OUT ROOM AND RESOURCE FOR TEENS
Wow. This is the first time I’ve been in here and I love it! It’s so teenagerish. I really wish my room looked like this! You’re kidding, teens helped design this?! I didn’t know cool stuff like that went on.
~ Evanston High School Senior

Teens on the design team demanded physical separation from the main library without their new distinct space feeling isolated. The resulting 2000 SF teen “Loft” was carved out of unused storage space with easy access to staff and adult reference materials.

Illuminated digital letters set within a translucent honeycomb panel spell out ownership. A palette expressive of the teen’s sophisticated ideas evolved that represented duality: a “silly” side with an egg chair, mod lights, and spaces to lounge and a “serious” side with computers, study rooms, and task lighting. The pastiche of wallpapers speaks of encryption, perhaps indicative of teen communicative habits, inspired by both text and technology. The Reading Bar, a café-inspired counter surrounds the wall of monitors and informal stage that the teens or the teen librarian operate for improv poetry slams or performance. In its inaugural year, the Loft ran 274 programs and served over 1500 teens.

A local high school senior commented, "I walked into the Loft and thought this couldn’t possibly be the library.

Related Projects

  • Aalto University Metro Station
    ALA Architects
  • WOODS
    Binst Architects
  • Park School
    Binst Architects
  • Karo 5
    Martin Schmitt Architektur
  • Law Firm In A Brewery
    Martin Schmitt Architektur

Magazine

Other Projects by Architecture Is Fun

INDEPENDENCE GROVE CHILDREN'S GROVE
Lake County
Electric Car Charging Canopies
Chicago
PUBLIC LIBRARY CHILDRENS ROOM RENOVATION
PUBLIC LIBRARY RENOVATION: TEEN VORTEX
RIO DE JANEIRO ENTERTAINMENT COMPLEX
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
CHICAGO CHILDREN'S MUSEUM: MY MUSEUM POP UP
Chicago