Team Led by Mecanoo Wins MLK Library Competition in D.C.

Today, Washington, D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray announced that the design team of the Dutch firm Mecanoo with Washington, D.C.-based firm Martinez+Johnson Architecture has been selected for the significant renovation of the city's Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library. The team led by Mecanoo was one of three finalists in a competition. The other two finalists were a team of Patkau with Ayers Saint Gross and another team of Studios Architecture with the Freelon Group.

The project, projected to cost about $300 million, will be a significant redesign of the 400,000 square foot interior of the library originally designed by Mies van der Rohe, and will add commercial, retail, and residential space. The historically significant modern exterior will not significantly change. Mecanoo will add an addition and public garden on top of the library.

The library—the central facility of the District of Columbia Public Library—is the last structure designed by Mies van der Rohe, his only public library, and his only building in Washington, D.C. Mies van der Rohe died in 1969, and the library opened in 1972.