As President Obama looks to a future post POTUS, one of his foundation’s first tasks will be to construct the Obama Presidential Center in Chicago. President Franklin Roosevelt formally started the presidential library tradition in 1939, and succeeding presidents have been encouraged, under the 1955 Presidential Libraries Act, to similarly donate materials collected during their terms. The Obama Foundation recently announced their choice for the team that will design President Obama’s library, and the selection came as a huge surprise to many.
The Obama Foundation chose Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects (TWBTA), a firm founded by a husband and wife team, and Interactive Design Architects (IDEA), out of a pool of seven architecture firms, including starchitects David Adjaye, Renzo Piano, and Snøhetta.
The Obama Foundation said in a recent press release, “TWBTA stood out in their commitment to explore the best ways of creating an innovative center for action that inspires communities and individuals to take on our biggest challenges. IDEA brings local knowledge and a track record for delivering excellence to large, complex civic projects.”
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TWTBA and IDEA will design a museum and library somewhere in Chicago’s south side, though the location has yet to be determined. Renderings are not available at this time. The Obama Foundation said that President Obama and the First Lady aim to build a center that’s “more than just a library” and that “inspires people to take on big challenges.”
Construction of the $500 million Obama Presidential Center is expected to be complete in 2020.
While TWTBA is headquartered in New York City, they’ve designed buildings around the United States and the world, including the Logan Center for the Arts at the University at Chicago. IDEA is headquartered in Chicago and has designed several projects in that city.
+ The Obama Foundation
Images via The Obama Foundation