Saturday, September 12, 2015

High Profile Architects Compete For Obama’s Presidential Library

Architecture firms from Chicago, New York, California, North Carolina, Italy and the United Kingdom are rumored to be under consideration for designing President Obama’s presidential library, to be built in Chicago’s south side Washington Park or Jackson Park, after Obama’s term of office ends in January, 2017. Chicago based architects in the running include Helmut Jahn, designer of O’Hare Field’s United Airlines terminal, and the University of Chicago’s Mansuelo Library, who sat at Obama’s head table at the president’s state dinner for German Chancellor Angela Merkel in 2011; Mark Sexton, who designed Chicago’s Spertus Institute; Carol Ross Barney, designer of new CTA stations and Chicago’s Riverwalk; Tigerman McCurry, designer of the innovative children’s scale Chicago Center for Children’s Advocacy; and Ralph Johnson of the Chicago office of Perkins + Will, designer of the Notebaert Nature Museum in Chicago’s Lincoln Park.

Former presidential library design firms from New York – Ennead Architects and Robert A. M. Stern – are in the running, along with New York’s Diller, Scofidio + Renfro; the San Francisco office of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, designers of the U. S. Consulate building in Guangzhou, China; and Philip Freelon of North Carolina’s office of Perkins + Will. Overseas competitors include Italian architect Renzo Piano, designer of the modern wing of the Art Institute of Chicago and of New York’s new Whitney Museum; and London based David Adjaye, designer of the under construction National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C., who sat at the President’s head table during the 2012 state dinner for British Prime Minister David Cameron. Announcement of the winning architect is expected early next year.

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