The Cleveland Public Library has announced the nine semifinalist teams vying for the chance to design the library's new $10 million Martin Luther King Jr. Branch. Among the list are the non-profit firm MASS Design Group; the Chicago staple, John Ronan Architects; and the young, hip Brooklyn-based SO-IL. Other semifinalists of the global competition hail as near as Boston, and as far as Paris.
From this group, three finalists will be announced on February 15th. Each team will then be awarded a $20,000 stipend to carry out a design proposal to be evaluated by the library's boards of trustees, as well as an advisory committee that includes LAND Studio, Cleveland's leading nonprofit agency dealing with public art and the design and programming of public space.
The new library—which will replace the existing structure built in 1970 around the corner from the planned site—will be part of an upcoming four-block development project in University Circle, a busy cultural hub with institutions like the Cleveland Natural History Museum and the Museum of Contemporary Art. Made possible in part by funding from the Cleveland Foundation, the design competition is hoped to serve as a national or international model for new urban libraries serving economically and racially diverse populations.
The full list of nine teams, with locations of lead firms identified by city, are as follows:
- SO-IL, Brooklyn, N.Y., and JKURTZ Architects, Cleveland, with: Brightspot Strategy, programming strategy; GPD Group, engineering; Tec Studio, lighting, information technology; Nesnadny + Schwartz, wayfinding consultant.
- Condition Architecture, Brooklyn, N.Y., and Hasenstab Architects, Akron.
- John Ronan Architects, Chicago, with: Michael Boucher, landscape architecture; Shen Milsom & Wilke, acoustics; dbHMS, engineers, sustainability.
- Bialosky + Partners, Cleveland, and Vines Architecture, Raleigh, NC, with: WeShouldDoItAll, environmental graphics.
- MASS Design Group, Boston MA, and LDA Architects, Cleveland, with: Sarah Lewis, Anisfield-Wolf exhibition consultant. (Cleveland architect Chris Maurer is listed as part of the MASS team).
- Clement Blanchet Architecture, Paris, France, and City Architecture, Cleveland, with: WSP Cleveland, engineering; Boulevard Studios, landscape architecture; Ducks Sceno, scenography and multimedia.
- Moody Nolan, Columbus, O., and Cleveland; & Arup Group, based in London, England.
- WXY, New York, DLR/Westlake Reed Leskosky, Cleveland, and Local Projects, New York, with Margaret Sullivan Studio, New York, library programming and design specialist.
- Höweler + Yoon Architecture, Boston MA, and Ziska Architecture, Cleveland, with: Walter Hood of Hood Design Studio, landscape architecture, and Mabel Wilson, historian and critic.
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