Human Rights Center Going Green

The National Center for Civil and Human Rights has unveiled the new architectural rendering for the Center, created by the team of architects at Freelon/HOK. The 35,000 square-foot Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)-certified building is designed to be environmentally sustainable.

The Center also announced that it has secured Phase I of funding, which enables the Center to operate on a 100% self-sustaining model. The groundbreaking will take place in June and the Center plans to open in mid-2014.

The building features a central hub of action and transformation cradled between two formidable structural walls representing hands. The mixed material building project is designed to be environmentally sustainable and visually appealing.

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“This building concept captures the essence of the Center’s global mission in a meaningful, artistic way,” said Doug Shipman, chief executive officer of the Center. “Our phased approach to funding and construction provides a clear path to financial stability, which makes our vision of opening a cultural institution where people can learn about global civil and human rights struggles possible.”

In January, Invest Atlanta (formerly called the Atlanta Development Authority) unanimously approved Tax Allocation District funding and groundbreaking plans as part of a phased approach.

The Phase I budget of $65 million is fully funded and includes: The Morehouse College Martin Luther King, Jr., Collection (King Papers); the Without Sanctuary lynching exhibit; civil and human rights presentations envisioned by artist George C. Wolfe and human rights authority Jill Savitt; a broadcast studio capable of live video and audio production; meeting spaces; and a retail store. The approximate construction time is 24 months.

The Center will offer a unique space for visitors to learn about the evolving human rights story and commemorate the historical pursuit of civil rights in America. The Center will be located in Atlanta’s Pemberton Place adjacent to Centennial Olympic Park, The New World of Coca-Cola and the Georgia Aquarium.

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Rakesh Raman