Photo credit: Jim Lonergan


The Indian Trails Public Library District recently completed a $14.3 million renovation project at its Wheeling branch, adding a 15,000 sf. two-floor addition to bring the total size of the Library to 60,000 sf.  New features include nine study rooms, a dedicated story room space for early learners and a “learning launchpad” area that includes tactile tools, a 3D printer, a sewing machine and a laser engraver.  The new youth area is designed to function like a children’s museum with a large art display wall, craft house, and an interactive play area complete with a play kitchen and ball machine.  Most of the new children’s interactives were finished using ABET laminates.

Product Architecture and Design in Chicago served as the designer on the project and was interested in using ABET’s laminates to add brightness and color to the youth areas.  The original design called for a display wall made with colored cork board for children to display their artwork. Product A+D persuaded the client to use ABET laminates because the colors are more vibrant and offer a greater range than other suppliers, allowing the design team to better match colors to furniture, paint, and flooring.

A description from Product Architects reveals their design reasoning behind the different spaces. “We primarily used ABET for the youth department and the maker space.  We enjoy brightly colored youth spaces and ABET has the best color collection for matching the different colors to our fabrics, carpet, paint, etc.  The idea behind our activity area this was to have an exhibition/museum type space in the library.  It contains a play kitchen, puppet theater, ball machine and a dollhouse.

The library wanted a large display surface that kids could tape drawings and artwork to.  The entire wall is around 60 feet long, so we decided to break it up by using large colored blocks that are 2’ x 4’.   These contain many of the same colors as the activity area.

For the end panels, we took a color range in the blues and greens and did a gradient across the different end panels.  There are 9 colors in total, 5 blues and 4 greens.  One of the greens and blues are the same as the large wall, the rest are used to make the gradient but are not featured in the rest of the space.

In the “maker space,” we went with an industrial theme with an open ceiling, hard flooring and locker style cabinets.  The cabinets are perforated metal and we used the ABET laminate to add a pop of color in the space.”

(Photo credit: Jim Lonergan)

For more information:


product architecture + design

811 W. Evergreen, Suite 405

Chicago, IL 60642

v 312-202-0701

Dan Pohrte, Tiffany Nash & Jim Lonergan

Renovation website:



Chicago Scenic Design

Phoenix Woodworking

LFI: Library Furniture International



ABET, Inc.

60 West Sheffield Ave.

Englewood, NJ 07631