American-Brazilian photo-artist Paul Clemence has just released the first images of the completed renovation and expansion works of Martin Luther King’s Memorial Library, originally designed by Mies van der Rohe in Washington D.C. Hoping to create a modern library that focuses on people while celebrating the exchange of knowledge, ideas and culture, Dutch design practice Mecanoo was commissioned the modernization of the structure back in 2014.
One of the first federal buildings named after Martin Luther King, and the only library and D.C. building ever designed by Mies van der Rohe, the historic landmark structure has taken on 9,300 square feet of additional space for the public, including a rooftop event space and a landscaped terrace.
Opening up the interior space, Mecanoo designed an intervention that respects the original architecture while updating the building to a modern library. Transforming the main entrance and two adjacent cores into focal points, creating new spaces, and allowing more natural light into the building, Mecanoo, together with local partner Martinez + Johnson Architecture connected the building to its urban context.