Located in the River North neighborhood of Chicago, the new home for the Poetry Foundation is a building in dialogue with a garden. The courtyard garden acts as another room inside the space and serves as an urban sanctuary. Visitors access the building through the garden and instantly see the double height library, which welcomes them into this literary space. Inside, the foundation features performance space, a gallery and library on the ground floor, while office spaces are located on the second level. Views of the garden can be seen throughout the building.
The building is surrounded by a perforated screen, which works to protect the building from the elements, while filtering natural daylight into the space to create a soft and pleasant light. The project is aiming for LEED Silver certification and has integrated a number of sustainable design strategies and energy-efficient systems. Besides the garden space, the building enjoys a partial green roof. Many materials were locally sourced and/or produced from renewable or recycled sources. The project was completed in June of 2011 and is now open to the public.
Images ©Steve Hall Hedrich Blessing and John Ronan Architects