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Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library

Prize(s) Winners in Community Building Lighting
Company George Sexton Associates, LLC
Lead Designers George Sexton Associates, LLC
Other Designer's names George S. Sexton, III, Owen Brady
Architecture Company Mecanoo, OTJ Architects
Client DC Public Library System
Photo Credits Robert Benson, Trent Bell
Completion Date 09/20/2020
Project Location Washington, DC
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Entry Description

Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library is an iconic mid-century modernist building in Washington DC. The only library designed by Mies van der Rohe, it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The DC Public Library System undertook an ambitious modernization to adapt it to needs of a modern public library, including new community workshops and studios. The Dutch architecture firm Mecanoo was engaged to lead the architectural design, in collaboration with local firm OTJ.
GSA designed lighting for public areas, offices, conference centers, and a new public roof garden. The main floor areas of the library are designated as historic landmark spaces. LED lighting for these spaces was required to precisely match the original design in all details and provide similar levels of illumination while meeting LEED Silver standards.
The design includes a monumental public stairway with integrated handrail lighting, an auditorium, exhibition spaces with flexible track lighting, a conference center and a two-story reading room, which includes a customized LED uplight system to illuminate an art installation by artist Xenobia Bailey and integrated reading lights at tables below.
Company Description

George Sexton Associates is a full-service global architectural lighting design firm. We bring our broad experience in problem solving skills with creativity to integrate lighting that is budget minded and environmentally sensitive. We are team directed and bring a full range of technical expertise in solving artificial lighting and natural lighting challenges.