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Friday, May 11, 2018

Cleveland Public Library Reveals Three Possible Designs for University Circle's New MLK Library Branch

Posted By on Fri, May 11, 2018 at 10:56 AM

click to enlarge An exterior view of the MASS & LDA proposal for the Cleveland Public Library's new Martin Luther King Jr. Branch as viewed from across Euclid Avenue east of East 105th Street. - MASS & LDA
  • MASS & LDA
  • An exterior view of the MASS & LDA proposal for the Cleveland Public Library's new Martin Luther King Jr. Branch as viewed from across Euclid Avenue east of East 105th Street.

Cleveland Public Library has revealed three competing proposals yesterday for a new Martin Luther King Jr. branch in University Circle. Three design teams were challenged to create a library design that would convey the message and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. through the library's architectural structure.

Two forums about the designs were held on Thursday afternoon at the existing MLK Branch on Stokes Blvd, so the public could gain a better understanding of each of the proposals.



One design was inspired by slave-era quilts that were used to communicate Underground Railroad routes and safehouses, another sees the library as a community space, while the third took inspiration from the "tale of brotherhood" segment of his iconic "I have a dream" speech.

The existing MLK branch will be replaced by this new, $10 million building as part of the approximate $300 million Circle Square development project planned by Midwest Development Partners.

Competitors were required to include apartments that will rise above the library, but one proposal showcases the library as an independent building with apartments located behind it. Regardless, all three of the proposals are a stunning look at the future of University Circle.

Competitor 1: MASS & LDA
click to enlarge An exterior view of the MASS & LDA proposal for the Cleveland Public Library's new Martin Luther King Jr. Branch as viewed from across Euclid Avenue east of East 105th Street. - MASS & LDA
  • MASS & LDA
  • An exterior view of the MASS & LDA proposal for the Cleveland Public Library's new Martin Luther King Jr. Branch as viewed from across Euclid Avenue east of East 105th Street.

click to enlarge An exterior view of the MASS & LDA proposal for the Cleveland Public Library's new Martin Luther King Jr. Branch as viewed from the east looking west across a main entry plaza. - MASS & LDA
  • MASS & LDA
  • An exterior view of the MASS & LDA proposal for the Cleveland Public Library's new Martin Luther King Jr. Branch as viewed from the east looking west across a main entry plaza.

click to enlarge An interior view of the MASS & LDA proposal for the Cleveland Public Library's new Martin Luther King Jr. Branch. - MASS & LDA
  • MASS & LDA
  • An interior view of the MASS & LDA proposal for the Cleveland Public Library's new Martin Luther King Jr. Branch.

click to enlarge An exterior night view of the MASS & LDA proposal for the Cleveland Public Library's new Martin Luther King Jr. Branch as viewed from across Euclid Avenue east of East 105th Street. - MASS & LDA
  • MASS & LDA
  • An exterior night view of the MASS & LDA proposal for the Cleveland Public Library's new Martin Luther King Jr. Branch as viewed from across Euclid Avenue east of East 105th Street.

Competitor 2: SO-IL + Kurtz
click to enlarge An exterior view of the SO-IL + Kurtz proposal. - SO-IL + KURTZ
  • SO-IL + Kurtz
  • An exterior view of the SO-IL + Kurtz proposal.

click to enlarge An interior view of the SO-IL + Kurtz proposal for the new Martin Luther King Jr. Library branch. - SO-IL + KURTZ
  • SO-IL + Kurtz
  • An interior view of the SO-IL + Kurtz proposal for the new Martin Luther King Jr. Library branch.

click to enlarge An interior view of the SO-IL + Kurtz proposal for the new Martin Luther King Jr. Library branch. Inspired by the "table of brotherhood" referenced in MLK's "I have a dream" speech. This rendering depicts reading areas as a flexible space divisible by movable curtains. - SO-IL + KURTZ
  • SO-IL + Kurtz
  • An interior view of the SO-IL + Kurtz proposal for the new Martin Luther King Jr. Library branch. Inspired by the "table of brotherhood" referenced in MLK's "I have a dream" speech. This rendering depicts reading areas as a flexible space divisible by movable curtains.

Competitor 3: Bialosky & Vines
click to enlarge The exterior of the Bialosky & Vines proposal for the new Cleveland Public Library Martin Luther King Jr. Branch - BIALOSKY & VINES
  • Bialosky & Vines
  • The exterior of the Bialosky & Vines proposal for the new Cleveland Public Library Martin Luther King Jr. Branch

click to enlarge The exterior of the Bialosky & Vines proposal. - BIALOSKY & VINES
  • Bialosky & Vines
  • The exterior of the Bialosky & Vines proposal.

click to enlarge The interior of the Bialosky & Vines proposal. - BIALOSKY & VINES
  • Bialosky & Vines
  • The interior of the Bialosky & Vines proposal.

The Cleveland Foundation sponsored the competition with a $93,000 grant intended to raise the stakes of the designs. The library's board will choose a winning design at its meeting May 22.

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