Planning a major renovation of its central library, the D.C. government has launched a design competition featuring some of the top architectural firms from around the world.

Located at the corner of Ninth and G streets NW, in Gallery Place, the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library​ was designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, but has fallen into disrepair. The city is considering either just renovating the library or renovating the library and building two stories of office space on top to generate new revenue.

Three companies have been named finalists: Vancouver-based Patkau Architects, teamed with Ayers Saint Gross and Krueck and Sexton; the Dutch firm Mecanoo, partnered with D.C.-based Martinez and Johnson Architecture; and the international firm STUDIOS Architecture, working with the Freelon Group.

The three teams will present their visions at a public meeting Saturday, Feb. 15. Here’s a preview.

Patkau’s proposal:

 Mecanoo’s proposal:


STUDIOS’s proposal:



Follow Jonathan O’Connell on Twitter: @oconnellpostbiz