Illinois Regional Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped

A building for the handicapped that tries to be far more than simply “barrier free” suggesting that blind persons are as entitled to metaphorical symbolism as are the sighted. Tightly linear for the purposes of tactile movement and color coded (perimeter: red; structure: yellow; mechanical equipment: blue, etc.) because the last thing a blind person can “see” is bright color bathed in light, the building has several metaphorical inversions. 

The lightweight metal-clad steel skin is opaque while the dense concrete hypotenuse wall is irrationally broken by a Hejduk-influenced (Barbar House) cut: all representing the irrationality connected with blindness.  Hard-surfaced to encourage utilization of the blind person’s increased perception of sound, the building has no hard corners to maim and all objects are anchored down so that their position can be remembered.