The design of the National Center for Civil and Human Rights is driven by the concept of creating a Space for Action. The design is inspired by great urban spaces from around the world that are synonymous with historic civil and human rights events: the National Mall in Washington, Tiananmen Square in Beijing and Tahrir Square in Cairo.
The iconic form of the Center is defined by two bold, curving walls. These powerful walls create and define the Space for Action where the Center and its various programs and interactive exhibits, designed by the Rockwell Group, remind us of civil rights accomplishments and make us aware of current, global human rights issues.
Phil Freelon is the design architect for The Center, working in partnership with architect-of-record HOK. The Freelon/HOK team was selected following a 2008 design competition, and the final building architecture is an updated design reflecting The Center’s powerful message. The Center’s design is inspired by the links that connect and empower individuals and groups of seemingly divergent interests to find common ground.