Thursday, March 10, 2011


Anacostia Library by The Freelon Group

In recent years, the District of Columbia Public Library (DCPL) has embarked on a program of building architecturally noteworthy facilities in a variety of Washington neighborhoods. The twofold mission clearly emphasizes the value of books and reading while fostering a sense of community cohesion. Of these districts, Anacostia, once plagued by drugs, crime, and poverty, is particularly ripe for such an ambitious effort. 
In selecting the Freelon Group of Durham, North Carolina, in association with R. McGhee & Associates, to design the District of Columbia New Anacostia Neighborhood Library, the client made it clear it wanted an iconic building that would engage the community around it. DCPL didn’t know it at the time (2007), but it selected the architect who would soon be involved in designing another, even more visible, icon: the National Museum of African American History and Culture, where Freelon is working with a team of architects led by David Adjaye and including Davis Brody Bond Aedas and the Smith Group. Interestingly, Adjaye and Davis Brody Bond Aedas are also designing libraries for Washington, and Freelon has just finished the Tenley Friendship Neighborhood Library.


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