The National Center for Civil and Human Rights is about to rise up. Officials with the center tell Curbed Atlanta a construction team will begin setting up headquarters and moving trucks and equipment onto the site, which sits adjacent to the Georgia Aquarium, the week of March 4. The center is slated to open in May 2014, said spokeswoman LaTasha Smith. In the meantime, officials provided Curbed with fresh glimpses inside the project — images that depict informational exhibition spaces with modernistic touches. The 43,560 square-foot "living" project is expected to cost $75 million, and was scaled back from a much-larger $125 million center.
Original forecasts called for the center, the brainchild of former Mayor Shirley Franklin, to open last year — but the Great Recession dictated otherwise. Like the original, more expensive plans that called for a design resembling interlocking arms, there's a philosophy behind the center's exterior aesthetics (as seen below). Per the architect's website:
"Two powerful walls will be placed in Atlanta and between them the NCCHR will thrive as a place for progressive action and change. The character of these walls not only conveys strength and a sense of permanence, they also represent the uplifting spirit of optimism and progress that is the NCCHR."
Interestingly, the center is designed to accommodate future growth. Those plans include areas for a 6,500 square-foot gallery addition on the project's eastside. Another expansion phase is planned for a 5,000-to 7,000 square-foot auditorium on the west.
· More Renderings Here [Freelon]