Indian Creek Library honored with a Chicago Athenaeum American Architecture Award

November 4, 2021

Former Abandoned Suburban Big‑Box Store Transformed into 21st Century Library

Multistudio (formerly Gould Evans), is pleased to announce the Olathe Indian Creek Public Library has received a 2021 American Architecture Award from the Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design and the European Centre of Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies. This is Multistudio’s sixth Chicago Athenaeum American Architecture Award!

“Our team is honored to receive an American Architecture Award this year,” says Sean Zaudke, Associate Principal of Multistudio. “Libraries of today are no longer about books or maker spaces (although Indian Creek contains both). The library is more about quickly refocusing and repurposing its functions based upon community needs and the design places an emphasis on flexibility and embracing change. This project focuses on the functional transformation of the traditional library concept into a 21st century model.”

Re-establishing nature in a commercial retail setting, the Olathe Indian Creek Public Library adaptive reuse project is a story of transformation. The transformation focuses on the conversion of a vacant, big-box retail structure—inspired by daylight and a connection to nature that was non-existent in the big-box context. Underlying the 21st century library model is a focus on the future. The library achieves this focus in two ways: by designing for adaptability to future change and by integrating sustainability strategies throughout the design, including the 2030 challenge energy reduction, daylighting and a focus on community wellness. At the library’s entry, users are greeted with a maker space, a café, a conference center, and a flexible workplace environment—with traditional library programs, reading spaces, and collections experienced deeper within the library. In this way, the Olathe Indian Creek Library becomes a community hub, creating a unique asset different than that of a typical public library.

In its 27th year, The American Architectural Awards® are the nation’s highest and most prestigious distinguished building awards program that honor new and cutting-edge design in the United States. In 2021, the Museum received a record number of projects for new buildings, landscape architecture, and urban planning from the most important firms practicing in the U.S. and globally. Over 100 projects were selected by a distinguished group of Miami architects, educators, and developers.

This is Multistudio’s 6th American Architecture Award. Previous American Architecture Awards include the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community Justice Center, Missouri Innovation Campus, University of Kansas Debruce Center for the Original Rules of Basketball, the Lawrence Public Library, and the NOAA La Jolla Lab Consolidation Project (Southwest Fisheries).

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