Driehaus Foundation Recognizes Reimagining of MLK Library

OTJ Architects’ reimagining of the Mies van der Rohe-designed Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library in Washington, DC, was recently recognized by the receipt of the prestigious Richard H. Driehaus Foundation National Preservation Award. This distinction honors individuals, public agencies, nonprofit organizations, and corporations that give back to their communities by preserving and re-purposing historic buildings while enriching the cultural fabric of the communities within which they operate.

OTJ Senior Principal Gary Martinez, FAIA, remarks: “My team and I were driven to create a space that would honor the legacy of Dr. King by welcoming all individuals to congregate and exchange knowledge in an architecturally significant environment that performs well into the 21st century.”

Designed in partnership with Dutch architecture firm Mecanoo Architecten, this internationally significant test case has prompted the holistic reexamining of a 1970s structure, its library services, and its programmatic sequence. Award recipients are selected by a jury of global thought leaders such as 2021 panelists like William J. Bates, FAIA, NOMA, National Trust for Historic Preservation Board of Trustees, Shanon Shea Miller, AICP, Director and Historic Preservation Officer for the City of San Antonio, and Eugenia Woo, Director of Preservation Services at Historic Seattle.

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