Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle School
Project size: 17,000 SF New; 175,000 SF Renovated
Perkins+Will won a competition to renovate the 1973 Brutalist-designed school, located within downtown Atlanta’s Grant Park district. Major upgrades required by Atlanta Public Schools included new athletic fields, a new and better-defined main entry/administration area, the desire to bring daylight into existing classrooms, and a reimagined building exterior.
Our design solution respects the owner’s limited budget by addressing the major upgrades while relocating and improving shared components that include the auditorium, cafeteria and media center.
Our design relocated the existing front door of the school from the north side of the building to the south side, which faces beautiful Grant Park. We also developed a more defined main entry, which includes the construction of an all-glass 2-story administration program.
An existing cafeteria and media center, buried deep within the school and away from daylight, were moved to the perimeter. the existing open auditorium took their place and a new student commons occupies the former auditorium space.
Bringing more natural daylight into existing classrooms, vertical windows were cut into the concrete façade with projecting colored fins. This approach recognizes the original architecture style, while giving the school a fresh, vibrant look.