Working in collaboration with the local firm Martinez+Johnson Architecture the Dutch firm, Mecanoo have collaborated on the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library in Washington, D.C, aficionados will know it was originally designed by the modernist master Ludwig Mies van der Rohe.
The library opened in 1972 with an incredible 37,000 square feet of usable space. Its modernization has been sensitively handled with a design concept revolving around ‘transparency and light’ and ‘pillars of freedom and knowledge’ often referred to by Dr. King.
The building’s two cores have become focal points allowing light to flood into lower spaces. A ‘Great Hall’ is able to host cultural events and its glazed perimeter (once housing book shelves) has been re-purposed as additional public area. However, the new rooftop terrace has become a true feature, creating additional public space whilst adding a sustainability dimension to the public building. Great multi-dimensional design!}