Barrington Area Library
Nestled into a heavily wooded site, the existing low-profile library needed expansion and enhanced identity. The entry pavilion joins new and old along a centralized “street” that frames views and re-organizes library functions while doubling square footage.
Wood columns rise like the trunk of a tree and split into branches to support an angled roof. Dappled light from a clerestory window filters in; animating the space throughout the day and into the evening.
This new arcade frames views to the landscape beyond while clarifying patron flows to a hospitality/welcome desk. At this intersection a secondary axis leads library goers to additional services: circulation, reference, adult and youth sections, and meeting rooms.
Client: Barrington Area Library
Program: New entry pavilion and renovation of library circulation
Size: 30,000 sqft renovation, 30,700 sqft addition
Distinguished Building, American Institute of Architects Chicago, 1995.
Divine Detail, American Institute of Architects Chicago, 1995.
Silver Medal, Illinois Indiana Masonry Council, 1995.
Merit Award, American Society of Landscape Architects Illinois, 1994.
“Building Images: Seventy Years of Photography at Hedrich Blessing”, Tony Hiss, 2000.
The Architectural Review – “Trees of Knowledge” – January 1997.
Architectural Record – “Three Libraries” – June 1995.
Building Design and Construction – “Barrington Area Library” – October 1995.
“Architecture for the Books”, Michael J. Crosbie, 1994.
Inland Architect – “Barrington Area Library” – November/December 1994.
Brian Berg and Associates (Mechanical Engineer)
Dickerson Engineering, Inc. (Electrical Engineer)
G. Bluidzius (General Contractor)
Jacobs Ryan and Associates (Landscape Architect)
Martin Lam, Inc. (Structural Engineer)
Photography Credit: © Steve Hall, Hedrich Blessing
The entry hall features tree-like structures that support the roof above. Dimensional lumber branches from central columns in a clever series of attachments that appear frenetic yet organized.
The engagingly tectonic quality of the structure serves to constantly animate the space… At night, the illuminated structure grows enticingly, a grove of radiant, rustic manmade trees creating a beacon in the suburban landscape.Raymond Mendez, The Architectural Review
Outdoor patios adjacent to meeting and reading rooms extend the library beyond four walls and into the wooded landscape.