mecanoo and martinez+johnson revitalize MLK memorial library, washington
all images courtesy of mecanoo and martinez+johnson




dutch architecture studio mecanoo in collaboration with american firm martinez + johnson have been chosen to revitalize the ‘martin luther king jr. memorial library’ in washington, DC. the original building was designed in 1972 by mies van der rohe and honors the legacy of dr. martin luther king jr. embracing the city’s contemporary culture and changing needs, a highly transparent façade is proposed to invite people into the open public space.


‘we will pay respect to mies van der rohe and research what is possible to prepare this building for the library of the future. but most important is bringing out the values of martin luther king. my dream is to make this building to reflect his ideals.’ says francine houben.



‘francine houben – presentation of martin luther king jr. library renovation design’
video courtesy of mecanoo



already a major hub in the area, the site will see the 250,000 square foot interior redesigned to accommodate the requirements of a modern media center. the design team will be led by francine houben, creative director/ architect at mecanoo who just delivered the library of birmingham, the largest in europe. the teams were asked to envision two outcomes for the volume, exploring the notion of a typical renovation, as well as possibilities for a mixed-use building with additional floors.

the library has a welcoming entrance with a highly transparent façade


sectional perspective