Our team is leading the transformation of Washington’s Central Public Library. Originally designed by Mies van der Rohe, this cultural complex is an internationally significant test case on the sensitive transformation of a landmark modernist structure into a socially sustainable engine for the exchange of knowledge. In addition, the project presents a unique opportunity to examine the structure holistically and organize the program as a cohesive sequence.
Working in partnership with Dutch architecture firm Mecanoo Architecten, our team has engaged a broad range of stakeholders in a vigorous public dialogue that continues to define the project’s design direction. Our designers have also led a rigorous entitlements process involving city, state, and federal agencies and punctuated by regular public hearings. Challenges include 45 years of deferred maintenance, outdated systems, a failing exterior envelope, as well as original design issues that fail to express the transparency of the building’s concept. When complete, the renovated library will function as an agile vehicle for the many platforms through which end-users access information. The renovation is designed to meet LEED Silver standards.