Ten Firms Shortlisted to Renovate Mies’ MLK Jr. Memorial Library in D.C.

Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library / Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. Image © Flickr user Elvert Barnes

In August, we reported a Request for Qualifications for the renovation of Mies van der Rohe’s Martin Luther King (MLK) Jr. Memorial Library in Washington D.C. - Mies’ only library and the only building in D.C. A few days ago, the District of Columbia Public Library (DCPL) narrowed down the list of potential firms from 26 to 10 and revealed that it was looking for community input on the library’s future spaces and services.

The ten firms that made the cut are:

Update: Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture

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We have been covering the progress of the National Museum of African American History and Culture over the last several months, our most recent being President Obama’s speech at the ceremony for the official ground breaking. Adjaye Associates recently shared with us some insight into the inspiration for the design and its grounding principles. We also have several new perspective renders illustrating the internal experience. More details after the break.

Obama speaks at the ground breaking ceremony for the National Museum of African American History and Culture

Freelon Adjaye Bond/Smith Group

President Obama attended the official ground breaking ceremony of the National Museum for African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) on February 22, commemorating this milestone for the Institution’s new museum on Washington’s National Mall. The Tanzanian-born, London-based architect serves as Lead Designer for the Freelon Adjaye Bond/SmithGroup (FAB) team that was selected by the Smithsonian Institute back in 2009 in the international competition for the design of the nation’s new prestigious building.

The President began his brief remarks by stating, “As others have mentioned, this day has been a long time coming. The idea for a museum dedicated to African Americans was first put forward by black veterans of the Civil War. And years later, the call was picked up by members of the civil rights generation -– by men and women who knew how to fight for what was right and strive for what is just. This is their day. This is your day. It’s an honor to be here to see the fruit of your labor.”

Continue reading for more information on the project and a video of President Obama’s speech.

‘REACH: The Architecture of The Freelon Group’ Exhibition

's Anacostia Library / © Mark Herboth

The Institute of Technology School of Architecture + Planning will showcase the architecture of The Freelon Group in an art exhibition opening February 15th at the Wolk Gallery at MIT. The exhibit, which runs through April 13th, includes ten projects designed by the Freelon Group, plus a table from the furniture collection designed by founder Philip Freelon. Featured projects include museums, university buildings, libraries and an airport parking structure (we’ve published a few you can see here. And don’t miss our interview with Philip Freelon). More information on the event after the break.

David Adjaye wins competition for the National Museum of African American History and Culture

A couple of weeks ago, we featured the six finalists for the new National Museum of African American History and Culture. Finally, the Smithsonian Institute chose the team lead by Tanzanian-born, London-based architect David Adjaye.

The team that created the winning design also includes the Freelon Group, David Brody Bond and SmithGroup. When accepting the commission, Adjaye said, “Throughout the history of African-American struggle and celebration, there are these moments of praise,” he said. “It’s for us a deeply spiritual and powerful culture.” The museum will cost $500 million and is expected to open on the National Mall in 2015.

Seen at The New York Times. More images after the break.

Finalists for the National Museum of African American History and Culture

The Smithsonian Institute has announced the finalists for the new National Museum of African American History and Culture in The museum will be located at the end of the Washington Mall, being the latest addition to this location. The design concepts will be on show at the castle building until April 6. The, a jury will select a winner. The museum will open in 2015, at a cost of 500 million dollars.

Finalists are:
Foster + Partners and URS
Diller Scofidio + Renfro in association with Klingstubbins
The Freelon Group, Adjaye Associates and Davis Brody Bond
Devrouax & Purnell and Pei Cobb Freed & Partners
Moody Nolan in association with Antoine Predock Architects
Moshe Safdie and Associates in association with Sulton Campbell Britt & Associates

Seen at designboom. More images after the break.