The Summit: Chinatown Public Library

In Chinese heritage, the act of physically ascending is tied to spiritual transcendence and overcoming odds. The Summit is an alternative vision for Chinatown's intellectual pinnacle.

This project was developed in an academic research program with the mentorship of the Skidmore, Owings + Merrill team working on the real re-design of the Chinatown Public Library. 

East Elevation

The Summit separates into two buildings at the street level to create a bustling pathway between two major neighborhood anchors: Chinatown Square Plaza and the local Red Line station.

The proposed promenade follows the route of an existing neighborhood shortcut. By placing a walkable artery through the middle of the library campus, the library's programs gain exposure while Chinatown gains a new socially active civic space.

 
 Southwest Elevation

Southwest Elevation

 

Model view of Eastern elevation. Illuminated study rooms on the second level are inspired by lanterns. They are beacons visible from the adjacent elevated subway platform.

 

Aerial view looking South. To the left, a parking lot separates the library from the El platform. On the right, Chinatown Square Plaza juts into the street. 

 
 View of Northern tip of the library, looking into the large community and civic space sited at the busiest intersection in Chinatown.

View of Northern tip of the library, looking into the large community and civic space sited at the busiest intersection in Chinatown.

 

Concept sketch of the interior of The Summit's children's library