Taylor Street Apartments and Little Italy Branch Library

Working with the City of Chicago, SOM designed one of the city’s first co-located Chicago Housing Authority and Public Library branches. The development is sited on the corner of West Taylor and Ada Streets, and includes a one-story public library branch and a multi-story mixed-income residential complex, with additional community spaces at street level. Designed to create a synergy between the two distinct programs, the building serves as a new hub for the neighborhood.

Activating the street while reflecting the scale and texture of the neighborhood, the buildings are set back and staggered across the site, creating a new public space while preserving the Taylor Street Farm. Positioned prominently at the corner of the site, the Little Italy Branch Library welcomes the community inside, with soaring open spaces designed for kids, teenagers, and adults located adjacent to centralized work spaces for librarians and staff.

Overlooking the library and Taylor Street Farms with views of downtown Chicago, residential units feature floor-to-ceiling windows that offer bright, daylit interiors. Indoor spaces were designed with a focus on communal living, providing shared amenity spaces, and rooftop greenspace.