Francis W. Parker School Library Renovation

Chicago, Illinois


Desiring to promote their progressive form of education with an equally innovative library space, this historic private school in the Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago undertook a complete renovation of its outdated facility.

To facilitate the exploration of the schools learning ecology, Eckenhoff Saunders was joined by education design consultant, 180 Studio, who employed a variety of workshops and charrettes to conceive a space that provides students, educators and the community a setting conducive to collaborative and experiential learning.

Upon entering, operable partitions blur the line between corridor and library welcoming the community to join in the activities occurring within and engaging the underused circulation space as an active learning zone.

Organized along a freeform millwork “tree” that folds organically through the space first as ceiling, then floor, then furnishing; diverse learning spaces are united through the use of the warm wood tones and colorful tiles extending and evolving the familiar campus palette.

Design features like mobile book stacks, operable walls, tables and open seating create flexibility for large group gatherings. Throughout the library are built in device charging stations and media hubs, which double as decentralized locations for librarians to assist students through their learning experience.


Credits:

Client/Owner: Francis W. Parker School

Educational Design Consultant: 180 Studio

Photographer: Mariusz Mizera Photography

Contractor: Norcon Inc.

Project Management: Project Management Advisors, Inc.

Lighting Design: CharterSills

MEP Consultant: IMEG

Structural Engineering: GRAEF

Funiture Vendors: Corporate Concepts and Frank Cooney