John Ronan Architects' Independence Library & Apartments - Photo by James Florio, courtesy of JRA.
John Ronan Architects’ Independence Library & Apartments – All photos by James Florio, courtesy of JRA.

ArchitectureJohn Ronan Architects has completed the mixed-use Independence Library & Apartments in Chicago. Located in the Irving Park district on the city’s Northwest Side, the six-story building features a 16,000 square foot public library and a affordable senior housing complex with colourful windows and balconies.

The two-story library element is slid forward on the site to the street to foreground its public nature, while the residential block, which hovers above, is set back from the street.” Explain at John Ronan Architects.

John Ronan Architects' Independence Library & Apartments - Photo by James Florio, courtesy of JRA.

The public venue supports reading and learning areas for all age groups, as well as a large community multi-purpose room which supports public lectures, gatherings and events.  The second floor extends out over the covered parking to form a park-like terrace serving as an outdoor amenity space for residents as well as occasional library use.

John Ronan Architects' Independence Library & Apartments - Photo by James Florio, courtesy of JRA.

The affordable apartments complex for elderly people features brightly-colored balconies recessed into the façade. “All 44 apartments speak to individuality amidst the collective, enabling residents to identify their house from the street in a conscious attempt to transcend the brutal pragmatism which has characterized Chicago’s past efforts in this area.” Explain at John Ronan Architects.

John Ronan Architects' Independence Library & Apartments - Photo by James Florio, courtesy of JRA.

Sustainable design elements include green roof, storm water management, daylighting and passive ventilation.” Different facade treatments also distinguish the two programmatic zones. The library is faced with dark grey concrete panels and large stretches of low-emissivity, charcoal-toned glass. The upper part has rounded corners and white facades wrapped in corrugated aluminium.

John Ronan Architects' Independence Library & Apartments - Photo by James Florio, courtesy of JRA.

All images by James Florio – courtesy of John Ronan Architects.

John Ronan Architects' Independence Library & Apartments - Photo by James Florio, courtesy of JRA.