MLK, Jr. Recreation + Aquatic Center


2018 Urban Land Institute Atlanta – Award for Excellence
2018 AIA St. Louis Merit Award
2017 AIA North Carolina Merit Award - Unbuilt

Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Project Size: 63,000 SF
Budget: $23.5 Million

The new Martin Luther King, Jr. Recreation and Aquatic Center stands as a beacon of hope and community vitality nearby Dr. King’s birthplace. Both ends of the activity center open toward the street to create covered, welcoming entries. A 2-story tall circulation spine, filled with natural light from the clerestory above, connects the entries and creates a public street from which the center’s various programs are easily visible and accessible. Recreation spaces like the pool, gym, and workout area line the east side of the internal street, while community-gathering spaces like the senior center, computer room, classroom, and multi-purpose room front the other side. The building lifts optimistically skyward at the main entry to announce its civic presence to the nearby MARTA station. A climbing wall rises on the inside of this vertical gesture to purposefully fill the tall space.

Architect of Record: KAI Design & Build
Design Architect: Perkins+Will

Teri Canada served as Project Manager and Billy Askey served as Senior Designer and Project Architect for this project during previous association with Perkins+Will.