Cleveland MLK Public Library Branch Project


Sponsors: Cleveland Public Library, Cleveland Foundation
Type: Open, RfQ, two-stage
Eligibility: Licensed architects
Language: English
Location: University Circle, Cleveland, Ohio
Fee: none
27 November 2017 (5pm EST) – RfQ deadline
18 December 2017 – Notification of semi-finalists
Building and budget details
Building size: 20,000 sf (1-2 levels.)
Air Space: The Developer will construct a residential apartment building in the air space above the library building as part of the overall development between 5 to 10 stories in height.
Total Project Budget: $10 million, which includes all costs of design, permits, consultants, soft costs, construction, and all contingencies.
Two-Phase Design Competition Details
Phase I – Semi-finalists
Up to eight firms will be selected from the Statements of Qualifications in response to the Design Brief/ RFQ and will be interviewed remotely or in person. · Phase II – Finalists
At least 3 firms will be selected from the Phase I interviews and Statements of Qualifications and be invited to develop a design concept for the new MLK Branch and present in-person.
$20,000 will be paid to each of the three selected finalists upon satisfactory completion of the competition requirements to cover design costs and travel expenses.
Design Challenge

The new Martin Luther King Jr. branch library (“MLK Branch”) will replace an older, outdated building that will be demolished to make way for a large residential and commercial mixed-use project in Cleveland’s University Circle neighborhood. This offers the Library a unique opportunity to both significantly upgrade its branch facilities and move to a location directly on Euclid Avenue, one of Cleveland’s most accessible streets for public transit. It also allows the Library to design a new, iconic facility that honors the legacy of the branch’s namesake—Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Air Rights above Library
The Developers of Circle Square have the legal right to build in the airspace above the MLK Branch. The exact boundaries and dimension of the Developer’s air rights parcel have not yet been defined, but based upon the massing plan included as Attachment C, it is anticipated that a portion of the 5 to 10 story apartment building will be constructed in the air rights above the Library, partially covering the roof of the Library. The front of the apartment building will be set back approximately 37 feet from the front of the Library, leaving a section of the Library roof exposed. A portion of the Library roof will also remain exposed in the northeast corner, where Library mechanical equipment will likely be installed. There is no set height at which the air rights parcel must begin. Rather, the air rights parcel will begin at an elevation just above the roof of the Library and any equipment or amenities placed upon the roof.

Structural columns to support the apartment building will need to be placed within the Library for which the Developers will be financially responsible. At this time the anticipated weight of the apartment building or the type of materials to be used is unknown, but these details will become available from the Developers before design concepts are developed. Although the two buildings must necessarily share some of the same building elements, the Library should be visually distinct from the apartment building and should appear as separate building.

Plaza Adjacent to Library
The development currently contemplates a small plaza adjacent to the Library on the east side close to Euclid Avenue. The plaza’s frontage will be approximately 67 feet long, and the depth approximately 55 feet (See Attachment C). The Developers intend to install limited hardscaping in the plaza and invite the Library to collaborate on the design. The plaza will be open to the public, and the Library may use the plaza for periodic programming on a nonexclusive basis. Therefore, the Library design should incorporate access to the plaza.

To view the competition brief, go to: