Ten Firms Make Cut, Move to Next Round in Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library Renovation Search

New Online Platform Launched to Seek Public Input, Feedback Shared with Firms

Today, ten firms were selected to move to the next round in the search for an architect team to help design the next generation Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library, 901 G St. NW.

The firms (listed below) are invited to respond to a request for technical proposal which goal is to determine how firms would approach designing the library.  Proposals are due Nov. 18. A pre-submittal conference will take place at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library on Oct. 28 at 10:30 a.m. No firms are expected to submit design concepts during this round. Instead, proposals will be judged by a team of library, urban planning, architecture and preservation experts that will look at the firms’

  • Senior personnel assigned to the project and their experience on designing and completing major libraries and obtaining appropriate approvals from D.C. and federal review agencies
  • Approach to managing the project, developing the project budget, managing the costs and schedule while ensuring the final design meets budget requirements, and addressing key challenges that are inherent in the project
  • Ability to meet or exceed the District’s Certified Business Enterprise participation rate of 35 percent.

Three firms will be selected in mid-December to move to the third and final round and be requested to submit design concepts and present the concepts to the review panel and public next spring. The selection process for an architect team began in August with 26 firms responding to a request for qualifications that identified firms that had experience working on similar projects.   

No decisions have been made on the type or the extent of the renovations or additions to the library. The selected firm will aid library staff and consultants in exploring the options outlined in an assessment done by the Urban Land Institute in fall 2011. These options include renovating the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library as a stand-alone library or as a mixed-use with additional floors.

In other news, the DC Public Library today launched an online crowdsourcing platform, dclibrary.ideascale.com, to seek input from the public on what they would like to see in their newly renovated Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library. The MLK Jr. Library Idea Community allows the public to provide input on what spaces and services should look like for teens, children, adults, people with disabilities, D.C. history, meetings and more.

The public will also have a chance to weigh in on whether the renovated library should have a cafe or the types of activities that should happen in the lobby and entrance hall areas or outside under the canopy. Anyone can view public comments, but a person must register in order to post comments. The idea community will be available for public input throughout the design process with new topics added. This summer, library staff had the opportunity to provide input.

The crowdsourcing platform is just one of many ways the library will seek public input.  Focus groups, surveys, and community meetings and presentations are also planned. The input will be shared with firms responding to request for proposal, the finalists, and the selected firm.   

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For more information, visit http://www.dclibrary.org/mlkfuture

Selected Firms:
Cunningham Quill Architects/1100 Architects
Ennead Architects/Marshall Moya Architects
Leo A. Daly/Richard Bauer
Martinez and Johnson Architects/Mecanoo Architects
OMA/Quinn Evans Architects
Patkau Architects/Ayers Saint Gross
REX/Davis Carter Scott Architects
Shalom Baranes/Davis Brody Bond
Skidmore Owings & Merrill
Studios Architecture/The Freelon Group