Champaign Library


Ross Barney Architects


Courtesy of the Architect / Craig Dugan, Hedrich Blessing Photographers


Champaign, IL


ClearShade IGU CS-TC7

Ross Barney Architects was commissioned to assist the Champaign Public Library in designing a new facility that responds to the needs of a high tech library for the 21st Century and one that responds to the community. The design works within constraints of a small site, maintaining building operations throughout construction and a tight budget. The proposed design of approximately 121,000 square feet located the new building North of their existing facility. The site is bisected by a new entry drive, creating separate zones for parking and the new facility. The building is raised on a monumental grass plinth presenting a civic image to the arriving patron, separating the building from the major vehicular thoroughfare along the south end of the site. The library program is organized on two levels separating the youth and adult services with the administration located on a third floor mezzanine. The depth of the resulting floor plate was relieved by a series of lightwells and clerestories that allow natural light to reach the first level childrens collection. A central two level atrium spine leads the patron from the entry lobby through the various collection spaces creating a dramatic gateway to library services. A conference center/multi-purpose facility is also planned to flexibly accommodate day to day library activities while also providing a much needed space for public gatherings after hours. A cafe is located on the first floor to create a dynamic gathering space. These functional organizations are expressed on the exterior by a balance of glazed surfaces and solids. The proposed materials are brick, limestone, copper and glass. The $22.8 million building was completed in 2008.

Courtesy of Ross Barney Architects