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Renderings Reveal the Brand Spanking New MLK Library

Washington, D.C.'s central library, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library, is a national landmark that has been neglected for far too long. With hopes to transform the space into "a center for learning, innovation, and engagement," the D.C. Public Library (DCPL) is moving forward with preliminary designs that give an in-depth look at what the library may look like after its $208 million renovation. $200 million is already set aside for the project, but the funds won't be released until 2019 and 2020, so don't expect construction to start any time soon. Below, you'll find the newly revealed renderings from the architecture team Martinez + Johnson and Mecanoo as well as previous designs that have since been scrapped.

↑ In this new rendering, you can see the public utilizing 3D printers in the upcoming maker's space. The DCPL must feel pretty enthusiastic about the new auditorium because the Black Keys are an apparently hoped for band for the library. In the background, you can also see a live band performing. Not sure how well that would work in a library, but who are we to judge.

↑ The new children's library will feature various nooks and crannies for young ones to crawl in, read in, or lounge on. Circular bookcases will also be placed around the space with stepped seating for potential gathering areas.

↑ In the renovated reading rooms, you'll find glassy walls, beamed ceilings, and recessed lighting.

↑ Will Ted Talks be the future for the MLK Library? It looks like it as the new event hall will have enough space for presentations and stadium seating.

↑ Expect patches of grassy areas, trees, public art, and outdoor seating spaces for the new cafe for the MLK Library. An extensive brick wall will also be constructed as a barrier between the sidewalk and the outdoor space.

↑ Originally, there were plans for a three-story addition to the library that would include office and residential space. Eventually, the three-story addition was scrapped for a single-story addition that will serve as the library's fifth floor.

↑ Once narrowed down to a fifth-story addition, one of the early designs was more rectangular than the currently curved preliminary design.


↑ This design was one of the first proposals for the new MLK Library. While not included in the final preliminary designs, the proposed information desk would have included an orange wall with illuminated quotes like "Truth will out" and "What fools these mortals be."

· The MLK Library overhaul: Fresh renderings demonstrate the $208M vision [Washington Business Journal]
· Re-imagine a New Central Library [DC Public Library]
· Remembering Mies van der Rohe's Influence on the MLK Library [Curbed DC]
· Entire MLK Library Building Will Be Renovated for $250M [Curbed DC]