A new rendering of what MLK Library could be

Blog > A new rendering of what MLK Library could be

The potential for Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library in downtown Washington, D.C. has been further articulated with a new rendering.

The 40-year-old building is Mies’ only library and needs restoration. So last fall The Urban Land Institute gathered a final report with recommendations.

The Freelon Group’s rendering (above) was gleaned from dcist.com and presented to the library’s Board of Trustees on Wednesday, September 19. With floors and landscaping added to the top, it becomes a bit of a tiered building cake. 

It’s more renovation than restoration. And sometimes more is just more.

One thing is for sure: space for additional books is not part of the plan. And while midcentury modes of reading seem to be losing favor, this midcentury building is timeless as-is. Mies’ designs incorporate plenty of open space meant to accommodate different uses over the building’s life—they are certainly not meant to remain preciously frozen in time.

This rendering has us asking, “What would Mies do?”

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