To replace an aging, land-locked building in need of substantial repair, the Public Building Commission of Chicago (PBC) engaged Wight to provide design-construction manager-at-risk services with design partner Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. Wight acted as Design Construction Manager-at-Risk for the new, 16,000 sf sustainable, full-service library for Chicago Public Library’s Chinatown Branch, replacing the previous, outdated building three blocks away and creating a new building that reflected the strong Chinese heritage of its surroundings. This project was not only a game-changer for the community; with Wight's Design Led - Design Build delivery model, the project was delivered with unprecedented savings in cost and time.

The value of design excellence.

The Public Building Commission of Chicago (PBC) had a competition to move away from its typical branch library design. Wight & Company partnered with SOM to design, in just one month’s time, a softly-three-sided, feng shui appropriate gem of architecture. Award-winning design excellence changed how Chicago designs and builds public buildings.

Record speed.

Utilizing their integrated Design Led - Design Build team approach, Wight met the City’s goal to design, permit, and build the new library on the oddly shaped urban crossroads of Chinatown in just over one year – 3 times faster than typical.

Early cost guarantee.

In the competition submittal prepared in 4 weeks, Wight guaranteed a maximum project price providing cost certainty and saved over 22% in costs to city taxpayers.

The Chinatown Branch of the Chicago Public Library has become much more than a place to read and borrow books. The library functions as a civic, educational, and social hub for the entire Chinatown neighborhood.

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2018 Honor Award, Interior Architecture, American Institute of Architects

2017 Louis Sullivan Award, American Institute of Architects, Illinois Chapter

2017 Distinguished Building, American Institute of Architects, Chicago Chapter

2017 Interior Architecture, American Institute of Architects, Chicago Chapter

2017 Project Achievement Award recipient, Construction Management Association of America, Chicago Chapter

2016 New Construction, Chicago/Suburbs (below $20M), Construction Industry Service Corporation

2016 Award of Merit, Civic/Assembly, Design-Build Project/Team Awards, Design-Build Institute of America

2016 Vision Award, Public Investment, Urban Land Institute

2016 Building Team Awards, Gold Award, Building Design + Construction

2016 Library Building Award, American Institute of Architects/ALA

2016 Merit Award, New Construction Under $55M, Chicago Building Congress

2015 Building of the Year – Midwest, Architect’s Newspaper

2015 Excellence in Engineering Award, ASHRAE Illinois Chapter

2014 Honorable Mention, Unbuilt Projects, Library Interior Design Awards, ALA/International Interior Design Association

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