Reinvested Space

by Vassil Draganov, P.E., Principal at Silman in its Washington, D.C., office,
Jason Myers, CEng., Associate at Silman in its Washington, D.C., office.,
Dereje Girma, P.E., Project engineer at Silman in its New York City office.,
, S.E.


Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 2022, Vol. 92, Issue 4, Pg. 48-53

Document Type: Feature article

Abstract: Over the last 12 years, the District of Columbia Public Library has undertaken the renovation and modernization of 22 libraries, including the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library, arguably the most historically significant in the District’s collection. The existing building, designed by celebrated modernist architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, was a forgotten gem lost under years of deferred maintenance. After a $211 million makeover, the library reopened to the public in September 2020. At more than 400,000 sq ft, the revitalized building comprises vibrant, open multiuse spaces and a renovated rooftop that offers breathtaking city views. The design team sought to reinterpret one of the modernist movement’s most influential architect’s original designs. This was achieved through careful collaboration among the design team and a deep understanding of the original architecture and structure.

Subject Headings: Building design | Public buildings | Renovation | Existing buildings | Architects | Vehicles | Maintenance and operation | Buildings

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