Chinatown Branch Library

2100 South Wentworth Avenue

A New Nexus for a Thriving Community

The 16,000-square-foot Chinatown Branch Library serves as a new civic, educational, and social hub for Chicago’s Chinatown neighborhood, providing a much-needed public gathering place geared toward inclusive community activities and technology-based learning.

The building sits at the nexus of Chicago’s historic southern and emerging northern Chinatown neighborhoods and is adjacent to the Cermak- Chinatown CTA Red Line train stop. The library’s pebble shaped, three-sided structure responds to ancient Feng Shui principles by matching the avenues’ alignment without creating aggressive corners.

Inside, the two-story design is based on a traditional Chinese courtyard plan. All spaces connect to a central atrium, and a minimal number of enclosed spaces ensures maximum flexibility. The community meeting area and children’s zone occupy the ground level, while teen and adult zones are on the second level.

As part of the City of Chicago’s Percent for Art Program, Chicago-area artist CJ Hungerman was commissioned to capture Chinatown’s personality in a mural on the second floor. The piece, titled Universal Transverse Immigration Proclamation, abstractly depicts the stories of immigrants’ journeys to Chicago and their visions for the future.

Social Media

  • Follow this project on Twitter @PBCChi #Chinatown
  • More Pictures on Flickr


  • Architects Newspaper Best of 2015 Building of the Year-Midwest
  • 2015 ASHRAE-IL Excellence in Engineering Award