John Crerar Library


Completed: 1984
Architect: Stubbins Associates
Address: 5730 S. Ellis Avenue
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John Crerar Library
Completed in 1984, the John Crerar Library forms the Western wall of the University’s science quadrangle and is an essential part of academic life and research on campus.

Brutalist Evolution
At the time of the John Crerar Library’s construction, brutalist structures had been built around campus for some 20 years. Crerar, though similar in style refines the design, building upon subtle shifts of the compositional elements its predecessors bore. For example, the area underneath the building’s cantilevered overhang expands upon the concept of negative space that is clearly visible in period structures such as the Regenstein Library.

Blossoming Interiors
Open shelving for the library’s 1.4 million volumes gives patrons an array of unrestricted access patterns. Meanwhile, inviting atriums bathe the space in natural sunlight, providing the ideal atmosphere for research, study, and analysis in the sciences. Despite sharing in the same architectural movement as other campus buildings, Crerar takes clear steps toward the future in the cues it takes in interior design.