John Crerar Library

Completed: 1984
Architect: Stubbins Associates
Renovated: 2018
Architect: Payette
Address: 5730 S. Ellis Avenue
Google Map

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. 

Renovated Home for the Sciences
Renovations began in spring 2017 to provide a vibrant new home in the John Crerar Library building for the Department of Computer Science and the Center for Data and Applied Computing. Included as well are renovated library spaces to provide a range of research services for faculty and students on campus. The work on the building’s top two floors created a state-of-the-art academic space. Windows have been added to the building’s façade on the top floor and skylights to the roof in order to allow natural light.