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Some of These MLK Library Renderings Get Downright Funky

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The Martin Luther King Library in Chinatown is in serious need of an overhaul. On Friday, the D.C. Public Library released the renderings and overall plans for the final three teams bidding for the opportunity to bring new life to the historic Mies van der Rohe structure. There's a lot of overlap: all teams want to restore the facade and all have visions for both the library on its own and combined with a mixed-use project. But while all are committed to the van der Rohe design, some teams get downright futuristic with their adjustments. Take a look at what all three teams have to offer. Do you have a favorite?

The key feature of this design from Patkau + Ayers Saint Gross is the cloud. In addition to being a cool looking and amorphous central feature, it will provide a community space, a technological hub and a children's play area.

In addition to transforming the historic building into a LEED Gold Facility (complete with a roof garden), the Mecanoo/Martinez & Johnson team has a very detailed floor plan for every story of the library. They don't touch the famous van der Rohe exterior much, saying they wish to "Keep Mies: Mies."

The team of STUDIOS + Freelon also has a vision of a green roof and this one with an open air amphitheater. This is also the only design that has a noticeable exterior addition on the roof of the original building.
· The Future for the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library [D.C. Library]
· Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library Design Ideas Released [Architect Magazine]