Cleveland Public Library, Cleveland, Ohio, USA
Situated at the confluence of the University Circle, Fairfax, and Hough neighborhoods, the MLK Branch of the Cleveland Public Library continues a legacy of strengthening community networks and generating opportunities for advancement. It is the home of the Ainsfield-Wolf Book Awards collection and a pioneering hub for enrichment, arts, and joy.
Our design takes cues from Dr. King’s “Table of Brotherhood”, a table where everyone has a place.
Centered in a welcoming grand room is the library’s core feature: an architecturally scaled table. From the main performance stage at its center, the table’s edge lengthens through specific contours that react to each facade and facilitate particular uses. This central table invites people of all ages, genders, races, and physical characteristics to explore and work together.
A facade of alternating solid and glazed panels wrap the building like a curtain, soft and fabric-like in appearance, yet strong and resilient. It diffuses the perimeter, provides calibrated protection from direct daylight, and offers a degree of privacy for the library’s interior. A voluminous canopy further shelters the surrounding grounds to ensure the library does not stop at its enclosure but extends beyond to be truly open, celebrating civic life.