An internationally known architect touted for his innovative approach to civic and library designs will create Winter Park’s new library and events complex.

David Adjaye of Adjaye Associates will lead the design in association with HuntonBrady Architects. He designed the $360 million Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African American History & Culture, which opened on the National Mall in Washington D.C. last September. He was named among the top 100 Most Influential people of 2017 by Time magazine.

Adjaye Associates has offices in London and New York City. Previous works include two neighborhood libraries in Washington D.C., the Museum of Contemporary Art in Denver and the award-winning Idea Store library and learning center near London.

City commissioners gave unanimous approval Monday to execute a $2.4 million agreement with the firm. The new 50,000-square-foot library, 8,500-square-foot civic center and 200-vehicle parking garage will be built on the northwest corner of Martin Luther King, Jr. Park.

“We have assembled a world-class team to build a state-of-the-art library and events center for Winter Park,” said Winter Park Mayor Steve Leary. “We are eager to begin working together to design this project that will serve residents and guests for generations to come.”

A coalition of citizens filed suit against the city, objecting to the complex taking up green space in the public park. The suit was thrown in March after a judge determined that voters approved the measure in a citywide referendum. The issue passed by a narrow 214 votes. The legal battle cost taxpayers $246,113 in attorney fees.

Adjaye said he hopes the new complex will be “a beacon for the neighborhood.”

“Winter Park’s vision for this project truly embraces the continued evolution of the library in the 21st century,” said Adjaye, who has been knighted by Queen Elizabeth II. “With a diverse program that recognizes it as a critical piece of cultural infrastructure, this will be a dynamic space for shared education, recreation and interaction.”

Recognized as a leading architect of his generation, Adjaye was born in Tanzania to Ghanaian parents and his influences range from contemporary art, music and science to African art forms and the civic life of cities.

Shawn Shaffer, executive director of the Winter Park Public Library, called the step “the true beginning of our next chapter.”

“With the team’s incredible talents at work, we are confident that the new library and events center will be one of Winter Park’s premier locations for education, business support, and community collaboration,” Shaffer said.

Pizzuti Solutions is managing the library and events center project on behalf of the City of Winter Park. For project updates and community meetings, go to:  cityofwinterpark.org/nextchapterwp.

National Museum of African American History & Culture designed by David Adjaye

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