NCCHR Groundbreaking: Center breaks ground on multi-wing expansion, announces team leading design and construction
International and Atlanta-based coalition features two women owned firms; Center capital campaign more than halfway to $50 million goal
ATLANTA, Ga. (October 20, 2022) – A coalition of well-known Atlanta and internationally-based firms, two of them owned by women, will design and build a two-wing expansion of The National Center for Civil and Human Rights (The Center). The Center announced the team at a groundbreaking ceremony Friday to an audience of civic, philanthropic, corporate, and community leaders.
Speakers included Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens; Congresswoman Nikema Williams; Congresswoman Lucy McBath; A.J. Robinson, Center Board Vice Chair, President of Central Atlanta Progress; Andrea Young, Center Board Member, Executive Director ACLU of Georgia; and Jill Savitt, Center President and CEO.
The Center’s Building the Vision campaign has raised more than $27 million towards its $50 million capital campaign goal to enhance its downtown Atlanta building and its civil and human rights education programs.
Designers plan two new wings totaling an additional 20,000 square feet of space for public engagement, conversation, exhibitions, and education. Construction is slated to begin in January 2023 and completed in June 2024 for The Center’s 10th anniversary.
“The expansion will be an outgrowth of the Center’s iconic form; framing and reinforcing a unique visitor experience, encouraging them to visit, stay, and return. Its magnetic presence will visually and intellectually attract the curious while beckoning to national and international audiences far beyond its walls,” said Kenneth Luker, FAIA, design principal, Perkins & Will.
The Center will also broaden its program offerings to engage students, visitors, schools, and workplaces with critical perspectives and tools to understand their roles as change-makers. These include DEI experiences for workplaces, human rights training for law enforcement, and a national civil rights history education program.
“Our project is the culmination of years of planning that began shortly after we opened in 2014,” said Jill Savitt, Center president and CEO. “This development of facilities and programming will fulfill our founders’ vision of establishing The Center as a national cultural institution and dynamic education, training, conference, and performance hub dedicated to advancing human dignity, rights, and justice.”
The Center’s expansion plans include:
- A three-story west wing to house a café and four new exhibitions spaces including:
- A Family Gallery on the lobby level — a play space for families with children under 12 focused on justice and rights with immersive, hands-on experiences.
- A Ritual and Remembrance gallery memorializing racial terror, focusing on the violent repression of African American civil and human rights featuring artifacts from the Without Sanctuary collection.
- Flexible gallery space for traveling and rotating exhibitions.
- A one-story east wing Innovation Lab — a multifunctional space for classrooms, performances, conferences, and events with broadcast capability to stream events and performances. The roof of the east wing will create a new outdoor event space.
- Current space and exhibitions will also be reimagined – the Center’s Civil Rights, Human Rights, and the gallery that displays selected artifacts from the Morehouse College Martin Luther King, Jr. Collection.
“Along with DaVinci Development founder and managing principal, John Goff, I was honored to partner with the National Center for Civil and Human Rights on the development of the original landmark facility,” said David Scott, senior principal, DaVinci Development Collaborative. “Today, the DaVinci team is privileged again to collaborate with the Center as development managers to oversee its important expansion and enhancements. DaVinci focuses on mission-driven projects, and we are proud to support the Center as it realizes its goals of promoting and protecting rights and becoming an even greater hub for education, conversations, and engagement promoting human dignity.”
The Center Expansion Team
- DaVinci Development Collaborative LLC, the Atlanta-based boutique firm serves as overall project developer manager. It helped develop The Center’s original landmark facility.
- Atelier Brueckner – a world-leading design firm based in Stuttgart, Germany will oversee exhibition design. Notable projects include the Museum of the Future in Dubai, the Grand Egyptian Museum in Cairo, and Visitor Centre of the European Parliament in Brussels.
- Lord Cultural Resources – the woman-owned Toronto-based firm will oversee exhibit content and narrative design. Its U.S. president Joy Bailey-Bryant is an Atlanta native.
- Juneau Construction Company – based in Atlanta, the woman-owned company will direct building construction.
- Perkins & Will – the architect of the original Center building, the prestigious national firm is again overseeing building and campus design.
About the National Center for Civil and Human Rights
The Center, founded in 2014, is a museum and human rights educational institution located in Atlanta, GA, the cradle of civil rights. We create dynamic and empathy- building experiences, teach history’s connection to the present, generate brave and difficult conversations about necessary issues, and inspire the change-maker in each of us to promote civil and human rights in our communities and the world. The Center connects the U.S. civil rights movement of the 1950’s and 1960’s to global human rights movements for the rights of people of color, women, immigrants, people with disabilities, LGBTQIA+ people, and other marginalized groups. Through our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion initiative, the Campaign for Equal Dignity, mission-based Institutes, expansive educational offerings, and immersive and engaging storytelling we inspire each of us to reflect and think critically, exercise empathy in action, and create positive change locally and globally. For more information about The Center, visit our website at civilandhumanrights.org. Follow us on: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram – @ctr4chr, and LinkedIn at linkedin.com/company/ncchr.
James Richards, Communications Director