The new Outdoor Plan created by Upland Design expands the library experiences to the outdoors. River Forest wanted to incorporate programmable spaces that are flexible for individuals, small groups, and special events. The new spaces are defined by sensory plantings and textural materials. Lawn is utilized within the central area of the site for flexible open space and increases visibility to usable spaces.
Both planting and permeable paving materials are incorporated to model sustainability practices. Beyond adding to the sensory experience to the site, the specified native plantings are low maintenance, require minimal chemical fertilizers and water once established. The plants also promote habitat bio-diversity. Permeable pavers used in the design reduce the water’s exposure to the sun and heat and help protect the quality of water, reduce the amount of storm water runoff entering our natural waterways, and promote the infiltration of rainwater that helps to recharge groundwater. Finally, the implementation of plan was well coordinated to allow the Library to remain open throughout construction.