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To use design to help our clients succeed.

We create exceptional environments that meet our clients' most complex design challenges.

We inspire people through our work by expressing timeless cultural, organizational and personal values.

We connect people and place with ideas that come from many minds and imaginations.

We care about serving our clients, enriching lives, improving communities and protecting our natural environment through design.

We are a global architecture, design, engineering and planning firm.

Celebrating 60 Years of Design + Innovation

A Celebration of Human Rights

National Center for Civil and Human Rights
Atlanta, Georgia, USA

©Albert Vecerka/Esto

©Albert Vecerka/Esto

©Albert Vecerka/Esto

©Albert Vecerka/Esto

©Albert Vecerka/Esto

©Albert Vecerka/Esto

“The Freelon/HOK design truly captured the spirit of exploration and collaboration that is central to the Center’s mission.”

Doug Shipman
CEO, The National Center for Civil and Human Rights

The concept of unity drove the design of Atlanta’s National Center for Civil and Human Rights. 

The team designed this downtown museum to enable visitors to learn about and reflect on human rights. In this “living” center, visitors will experience content through interactive exhibitions and immersive activities. 

As they move between exhibits, visitors will see a courtyard. The peace of the courtyard area contrasts with the somber exhibits. Though the path through the building is clear, visitors have opportunities to discover additional content and encounter unexpected views.

The building incorporates a high-performance exterior wall assembly, state-of-the-art environmental control systems, a vegetated roof and several energy-saving features.

HOK and the Freelon Group collaborated on the design of the building, which will be located in the heart of downtown Atlanta adjacent to the World of Coca-Cola and the Georgia Aquarium. The site is a few blocks west of the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site.


LEED-NC Gold anticipated


42,000 sq. ft. / 3,900 sq. m.


Facility Programming
Interior Design
Landscape Architecture


Urban Land Institute Atlanta Chapter - Development of Excellence Award

Atlanta Business Chronicle’s Best in Real Estate Awards - Best in Design

AIA North Carolina – Merit Award

AIA Georgia – Honor Award

National Association of Minority Contractors (NAMC) - President’s Award


30 June 2015
“Southern Belles: Seven Museums in the American South”

28 July 2014
“Center for Civil and Human Rights Opens Its Doors to Atlanta”
Architectural Record

14 July 2014
“Atlanta Unveils the National Center for Civil and Human Rights”

3 July 2014
“Phil Freelon, HOK Design National Civil and Human Rights Center in Atlanta”

24 June 2014
“Center for Civil and Human Rights Opens in Downtown Atlanta”
HOK News 

23 June 2014
“The Newest Reason to Visit Atlanta”
Conde Naste Traveler 

23 June 2014
“The Rise of the Civil Rights Museum”

22 June 2014
“The Harmony of Liberty”
The New York Times 

20 April 2014
“Atlanta Civil Rights Museum Focuses on Stories, Not Memorials”
USA Today 

7 March 2014
“Best Design in the Atlanta Business Chronicle’s 2013 Best in Atlanta Real Estate Awards”
Atlanta Business Chronicle