top of page


Literature Institute of Chicago

Winner for CSI Chicago Scholaship Competition

Schiff Scholaship Finalist

Chicago, IL, USA

Aug. 2018 - Dec. 2018

Illinois Institute of Technology 

Instructor: John Ronan


This project explores the idea of nesting and was inspired by a case for eyeglasses that has a hard shell and soft leather interior. I feel it is interesting to explore the space created by the typical rectangular outer paper box and the soft and curved leather case interior, which is the basis for my subsequent design work. The studio project has a variety of feelings in the space between building layers, which arise from the subtle mix of urban context with internal programs. In response to the context of box-shaped buildings that surround the site, the outermost layer of the project is deformed from a box-shape; interior layers supporting the program becomes free and angular.
 The lower floors, which are closest to the street, have an outdoor event space (the “Urban Room” of the studio brief). To engage with the city, Urban Room, a cafe and a bookstore are intertwined in a dynamic and active space. 

The facade of the outermost layer, which serves as the contact point between the urban and this building, is a double facade of metal panels made by densely gathering aluminum rods and translucent glass. Dense aluminum rods were selected to represent the nature of the middle of the solid and void. This is because it is necessary for visual communication with the urban to be connected to the outside, and it also needs to be emphasized by nesting layers by making them look like solids at angles. Also, the aluminum rods can evenly reflect the sunlight and prevent direct sunlight . The material of the second layer is flat frost glass. The translucent glass wall clearly distinguishes between space used for gallery and space for circulation, while creating an ambiguous space atmosphere, maximizing the attraction of spaces created by layers. The surface of library volume is covered with leather panels. Gentle and Soft feeling is emphasized as going inside the building, and the interior of this library reaches its peak of softness. Once inside the library through the wall covered with soft leather panels, undulating bookshelves made of white oakwood flows along the whole walls of the library.  Some part of the bookshelf is covered with soft leather or fur to provide the soft seating space for those who read the books.

Materials & Library

Inside the building, multiple walls overlap and are nested, creating space between and embracing the inner program.  A new atmosphere is created every time passing through a layer of walls as entering from the outside. Instead of having programs organized by floor, there is the library in the innermost part of every floor, and the space surrounding it becomes a gallery for exhibitions.  In this gallery space where it is between the library at the core and outmost façade of the building, leather panels cover the walls of the library volume and the metal and glass walls are blending well, creating a space with intermediate character of softness and hardness. The interior of the library has undulating horizontal bookshelves to maximize the feeling of softness. Unlike the more vibrant atmosphere of the lower floors, the library is calm and quiet. It becomes a refuge.

bottom of page