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  Poplar Creek Public LibraryPoplar Creek Public Library


Frye Gillan Molinaro Architects, Ltd.
308 West Erie #502, Chicago, IL 60068

General Description

Location: Streamwood, Illinois
Date Bid: Oct 2007 Construction Period: Feb 2008 to June 2009
Total Square Feet: 96,846 Site: 2.221 acres. Number of Buildings: One.
Building Size: Lower level (not basement), 45,524; first floor, 43,143; mezzanine, 8,179; total, 96,846 square feet.
Building Height: Lower level (not basement), 11’4”; first floor, varies; mezzanine, 12’; total, 33’.
Basic Construction Type: Addition/Renovation.
Foundation: Cast-in-place, pier & grade beam, reinforced concrete, slab-on-grade. Exterior Walls: CMU, curtainwall, metal panels, stucco. Roof: Metal, membrane, vegetated. Floors: Concrete. Interior Walls: CMU, metal stud drywall.

Construction Team

Structural Engineer: Brown Engineers, Inc. - 916 S. 3rd Street, Springfield, IL 62703
General Contactor: Pepper Construction Company - 411 Lake Zurich Road, Barrington, IL 60010
Mechanical & Electrical Engineer: Calor Design Group, Ltd. - 2217 N. Western Avenue, Chicago, IL 60647
Lighting: Aurora Lighting Design - 224 West Belvidere Road, Grayslake, IL 60030

The Poplar Creek Public Library stands as a testament to the integration of functional and contemporary library services alongside flexible community spaces that foster interaction, education, and repose. This building's dramatic transformation was propelled by seamlessly merging an existing brutalist-inspired Library with the unexpected. The newly expanded and renovated facility has recently won a 2010 AIA Chicago Design Excellence award, as well as the 2010 GE Edison Award of Merit.

Being located in a residential neighborhood, there were challenges in providing a symbolic place that would provide a new "image" as a cultural center. The existing 1966 formed concrete structure was partially recessed into the earth and had an "austere" presence on-site. Expanding without imposing turned out to be a challenge. Even so, the glass "beacon" tower at the west entrance is already a community icon, and has been featured prominently on the cover of the chamber of commerce community guide.

The opposite expansion that was added presented a contemporary design response to the nearby homes. A scale appropriate and durable Kynar® finish was provided on a metal siding / standing seam roof system. In contrast, a sealed, troweled stucco on sculptural facades (to provide a character of warmth) creates an identity that "fits in" but also stands apart. Larger areas of Low-E, UV resistant glass were used to create a more "open" and communicating presence to the new facade as well. Fritted glass provides necessary heat gain resistance on several exposures.

The roofing is a durable membrane, and is elevated by the inclusion of 15,000 square feet of sedum roof trays, providing rainwater regulation as well as an extra layer of insulation for the facility. Nearly the entire site is landscaped with native grasses and plants, and there is also an additional bio-swale that filters rainwater captured from diversion spouts.

Many of the finishes in the facility have durable value such as epoxy coatings in high traffic areas, and scuff resistant paints on all walls. Recycled rubber sheet goods are the most common material for the flooring, and it has the added benefit of being "easy on the feet" and an acoustic buffer. Furniture and counters use high-quality laminates and seats and tables use metal supports / legs to provide lightweight but durable pieces - as opposed to bulkier wood furniture.

Being a district Library, it was not originally acknowledged as a "village facility", but since its construction, there has been a creation of a new bicycle and pedestrian path linking it to the city hall and police department, which are located two blocks away. This gesture has elevated the presence of the Library as a valuable public facility.

With a wealth of enhanced amenities that were not present before the re-design, patrons are aware of an easier and enjoyable browsing experience, while staff and maintenance enjoy the flexibility of the facility. After a 2½ year design and construction phase, it emerged as a vibrant, flexible and functional social center with a green mindset and a sharp focus on technology.

Product Information
Metal Wall Panels: Centria
Stucco: La Habra
Vegetative Roofing: GreenGrid
Membrane Roofing: Carlisle
Flooring: EcoSurfaces
Lighting: Vode, Moooi®, Bega, Phillips
Elevators: Schindler

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