Contract - Phil Freelon, HOK Design National Civil and Human Rights Center in Atlanta

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Phil Freelon, HOK Design National Civil and Human Rights Center in Atlanta

03 July, 2014

-By Holly O'Dell


The National Center for Civil and Human Rights has opened in Atlanta with design by architect Phil Freelon in collaboration with HOK. The design team aimed to create a “space for action,” inspired by places such as the National Mall in Washington, Tiananmen Square in Beijing, and Tahrir Square in Cairo that are known for their historic civil and human rights events.


© Albert Vecerca/Esto


“We looked at the seminal historical events and the public places where individuals and groups gathered — places belonging to everyday people,” said Freelon, who leads Perkins+Will’s North Carolina practice. “In these public squares, plazas and public parks, citizens from all walks of life came together to show a sense of unity and purpose.”

Two curved walls form the façade, clad in architectural panels of varying size, color, and transparency to suggest individuals coming together to achieve a common goal. The center features entrances at grade and on the lower level, facing two separate plazas connected by a grand exterior staircase that wraps the building’s east side.


© Albert Vecerca/Esto


The architecture and exhibits encourage visitors to connect not only with each other, but also the stories of the civil and human rights movement. “The variety of spaces allows for communication around ideas and action through exhibits, performances, poetry readings, lectures, and global conferences,” Freelon said.


© Albert Vecerca/Esto


Each of the three levels features gallery and event space, with exhibits designed by David Rockwell of the Rockwell Group. The lower level features a special gallery dedicated to the Morehouse College Martin Luther King, Jr. collection and a large multipurpose room overlooking the lower plaza. From the middle-floor lobby, visitors can access the civil rights exhibit and galleries. The civil and human rights exhibits culminate on the upper floor and open to a balcony and lounge.


© Mark Herboth Photography




Phil Freelon, HOK Design National Civil and Human Rights Center in Atlanta

03 July, 2014


The National Center for Civil and Human Rights has opened in Atlanta with design by architect Phil Freelon in collaboration with HOK. The design team aimed to create a “space for action,” inspired by places such as the National Mall in Washington, Tiananmen Square in Beijing, and Tahrir Square in Cairo that are known for their historic civil and human rights events.


© Albert Vecerca/Esto


“We looked at the seminal historical events and the public places where individuals and groups gathered — places belonging to everyday people,” said Freelon, who leads Perkins+Will’s North Carolina practice. “In these public squares, plazas and public parks, citizens from all walks of life came together to show a sense of unity and purpose.”

Two curved walls form the façade, clad in architectural panels of varying size, color, and transparency to suggest individuals coming together to achieve a common goal. The center features entrances at grade and on the lower level, facing two separate plazas connected by a grand exterior staircase that wraps the building’s east side.


© Albert Vecerca/Esto


The architecture and exhibits encourage visitors to connect not only with each other, but also the stories of the civil and human rights movement. “The variety of spaces allows for communication around ideas and action through exhibits, performances, poetry readings, lectures, and global conferences,” Freelon said.


© Albert Vecerca/Esto


Each of the three levels features gallery and event space, with exhibits designed by David Rockwell of the Rockwell Group. The lower level features a special gallery dedicated to the Morehouse College Martin Luther King, Jr. collection and a large multipurpose room overlooking the lower plaza. From the middle-floor lobby, visitors can access the civil rights exhibit and galleries. The civil and human rights exhibits culminate on the upper floor and open to a balcony and lounge.


© Mark Herboth Photography

 


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