Obama Presidential Center Building Chicago, USA

Obama Presidential Center Building in Chicago, Architects, Winner, American Architecture

Obama Presidential Center in Chicago

Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects Partners – TWBTA Winning Architecture Practice

Jan 29, 2018

New Renderings + Video for Obama Presidential Center

Obama Presidential Center in Chicago

Feb 1, 2017

Landscape Architect Selected for Obama Presidential Center Building, Chicago

Location: Southside, Chicago, Illinois, USA

Obama Foundation Announces Landscape Architect for Obama Presidential Center

Chicago, IL – the Obama Foundation have announced the landscape architecture team for the Obama Presidential Center (OPC). Working with the OPC’s previously announced architects, Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects and InterActive Design Architects, a team comprised of Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates (MVVA), Site Design Group, and Living Habitats will serve as the project’s landscape architects.

MVVA will lead the landscape architect team in partnership with Site Design Group and Living Habitats, two Chicago-based firms. MVVA has led the design for many award-winning civic projects including Maggie Daley Park in Chicago and Brooklyn Bridge Park in New York. Site Design Group is a minority-owned firm with a successful track record of working on Chicago Park District projects in neighborhoods across the city. Living Habitats is a women-owned firm with an abiding commitment to sustainable and environmentally-integrated design work.

David Simas, Chief Executive Officer of the Obama Foundation, said, “We are thrilled to announce that MVVA, Site Design Group, and Living Habitats will serve as the landscape architects for the Obama Presidential Center. This highly skilled and diverse team stood out in their commitment to creating accessible public spaces that honor their environment, community, and history.

We are confident that together with the Foundation, Tod Williams Bill Tsien Architects and InterActive Design Architects, this team will help build a Presidential Center that is more than just a library or museum, but an innovative center that inspires communities and individuals to take on our biggest challenges.”

“We are incredibly excited to be a part of this historic project. Together with Site Design Group and Living Habitats and, of course, with TWBTA and InterActive Design, we are committed to creating an OPC that honors the vision of Frederick Law Olmsted and at the same time is accessible, inspirational and joyful,” said Michael Van Valkenburgh, President and CEO of Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates.

Ernie Wong, Founder of Site Design Group, said: “Growing up in the Hyde Park / Kenwood community has infused in me a sense of responsibility to the South Side and the city as a whole. We are honored to partner with MVVA, Living Habitats and especially the Obama Foundation to realize an incredible asset for Jackson Park and this strong and vibrant community. We look forward to helping this talented team forge the future of this institution as part of Jackson Park, reflecting the rich history and traditions of the South Side and watching the OPC stand as a beacon for the people of this great country.”

“At Living Habitats, we are inspired by the Obamas and their commitment to community and public service. We are excited to collaborate with MVAA and Site Design Group to create a Presidential Center that reflects the Obamas’ values, especially as it relates to sustainability and the natural environment,” said Heidi Natura, President and Founder of Living Habitats.

In October, the Obama Foundation announced the formation of an Inclusion Council, led by local leaders to ensure that the work of the Foundation is informed by a diverse set of viewpoints and is in line with the values of diversity and inclusion. In July, the Obama Foundation announced Jackson Park as the site of the future Obama Presidential Center.

The Foundation considers the South Side community a full partner in the development and construction of the OPC, including in the integration of the OPC into Jackson Park. In June, the Obama Foundation announced that Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects | Partners and Interactive Design Architects will lead the design phase of the Obama Presidential Center.

Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates of New York

MVVA believes that landscape plays a critical role in shaping a positive experience of place — both found and designed—and that a strong sense of place helps enhance everyday experience, healthy communities, and quality of life which is at the heart of a livable city. Their work encompasses a range of scales and landscape types, from the design of large public parks, and university campuses, down to intimate gardens and private landscapes.

As a firm, MVAA prioritizes client vision, and is are proud to have many long-time and repeat clients including Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation, Princeton University, Harvard University, Wellesley College, The Menil Collection and Waterfront Toronto.

MVVA’s projects have received many of the highest professional honors for design excellence and for innovation, including: the Brendan Gill Prize from the Municipal Art Society of New York in 2010 for the Brooklyn Bridge Park, given to a work of art that best captures the energy and spirit of New York City. MVVA was selected as the Firm of the Year by the American Society of Landscape Architects in 2016.


Founded in 1990, site design group, ltd. (site) is a landscape architecture, urban design, and architecture firm based in Chicago, Illinois, and known for their leadership and innovation, commitment to design excellence, and beautifully detailed public urban spaces. site is certified as a Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE).

As landscape architects, designers, arborists, architects, creative thinkers, and engaged citizens, site’s diverse staff are enlivened by their surroundings and strive to produce creative spaces that inspire, restore, and bring communities together. Using functional systems coupled with “out of the box” strategies, site transforms complex design challenges into places that clearly reflect identity and are strong statements of beautiful and functional spaces.

Living Habitats

Founded in 2001, Living Habitats is an environmental planning, landscape architecture, and ecology practice in Chicago, Illinois. Living Habitats is a certified Women-Owned Business Enterprise (WBE) and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE). Comprised of landscape architects, designers, and ecologists, Living Habitats actively promotes an appreciation for the complex beauty of the natural environment and they have an irrepressible passion for making this resource accessible and tangible in their work.

Living Habitats finds that the best solution is one that is responsive to clients’ needs and demonstrates mindfulness for our environment. It is through their collaboration with communities, clients, and other professionals that they have created resourceful and innovative solutions that are both sustainable and resilient.

August 4, 2016

Obama Presidential Center Building in Chicago – Washington Park News

Location: Southside, Chicago, Illinois, USA

Obama Presidential Library Site

Planners of the Obama presidential library sought to reassure residents living near Washington Park, the runner-up site, that they, too, would benefit from the high-profile project, reports The Chicago Tribune.

The chairman of the Obama Foundation said that although they had selected Jackson Park, their support for the efforts in both neighborhoods for growth and engagement will be focused on Washington Park just as much as we are on Jackson Park and (the neighboring) Woodlawn area.

The formal unveiling of plans to build in Jackson Park came on the same morning that Friends of the Parks declared it will not file a lawsuit to stop the Obama presidential library there.

The parks preservation group said while it opposes using parkland for the project, it will not put up a legal roadblock. A Friends of the Parks lawsuit aiming to block the proposed Lucas Museum of Narrative Art along the city’s lakefront led “Star Wars” creator George Lucas to abandon plans for his project in Chicago and look to sites in San Francisco and Los Angeles.

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama look out at the city skyline and Lake Michigan after arriving at the Burnham Park landing zone in Chicago, Illinois, June 15, 2012:
President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama look out at the city skyline
Official White House photo : Pete Souza
June 15, 2012 – “We had just arrived at the helicopter landing zone in Chicago and instead of walking right to the motorcade, the President and First Lady walked past their vehicle to the edge of Lake Michigan to view the skyline of their home town.”

July 29, 2016

Jackson Park Selected for Obama Presidential Center Building in Chicago

Jackson Park Site for The Obama Presidential Library

Barack Obama Releases Statement on Location

The Obama Foundation confirms Jackson Park in Chicago as the official site of the Obama Presidential Center Building in Chicago project:

“Michelle and I are thrilled that the Obama Presidential Center will be developed in the heart of Chicago’s South Side, a community we call home and that means the world to us. With a center in Jackson Park, not only will we be able to affect local change, but we can attract the world to this historic neighborhood, whose rich cultural heritage dates back to the 1893 World’s Fair. We are proud that the center will help spur development in an urban area and we can’t wait to forge new ways to give back to the people of Chicago who have given us so much.”

Jackson Park Japanese Garden Chicago:
Jackson Park Japanese Garden Chicago - close to site of Obama Presidential Center
photo courtesy wikimedia commons, by Steven Kevil – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, http://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=31328781

July 27, 2016

The Chicago Tribune reports that President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama have selected Jackson Park on the city’s south side as the future home for the Obama Presidential Center, instead of Washington Park.

Jackson Park is a 500-acre (2 km²) park on Chicago’s South Side, located at 6401 South Stony Island Avenue in the Woodlawn community area, according to wikipedia. It borders Lake Michigan and several South Side neighborhoods.

The parkland was first developed as the host site of the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893.

3 Jul + 30 Jun 2016

Obama Presidential Center Building in Chicago Architect

Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects To Design The Obama Presidential Library

The Obama Foundation has selected Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects | Partners (TWBTA) to lead the design team for the Obama Presidential Center in Chicago, and Interactive Design Architects (IDEA) to be their partner as they begin this exciting project. 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.

Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects | Partners

Firm size: 30

Headquarters: New York, NY

Website: TWBTA

Notable works: Logan Center for the Arts, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL; The Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia, PA; LeFrak Center at Lakeside, Brooklyn, NY; Center for the Advancement of Public Action, Bennington College, Bennington, VT

Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects

Interactive Design Architects

Firm size: 10

Headquarters: Chicago, IL

Website: IDEA

Notable works: Eckhardt Center FF&E, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL; A.J. Celebrezze Federal Building Facade Recladding, General Services Administration, Cleveland, OH; Anti-Cruelty Society Facade Recladding, Chicago, IL

About Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects | Partners

Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects | Partners are a husband-and-wife architectural firm founded in 1986. Paul Schulhof joined the studio in 1999 and became the firm’s third partner in 2013. Headquartered in New York, the studio focuses on work for institutions including museums, schools, and not-for-profits. Their buildings are carefully made from the inside out to be functional in ways that speak to both efficiency and the spirit.

In their own words…

We believe that architecture is the coming together of art and use, and can bring a sense of grace to life. The greatest buildings are places, which contribute to more than their particular task by elevating and improving the world.

We are deeply moved by the mission of the Obama Foundation and the role the Center can play in empowering that mission. It is a joy, an honor, and a responsibility to create a place that reflects the optimism and integrity of the President and the First Lady. This has been a transformative presidency and we will work to make a Center that embodies and expands the Obamas’ vision. We look forward to collaborating with our partners, Interactive Design Architects, and to working with the South Side community.

We have chosen to work on only a few projects at a time, to allow for intense personal involvement in all aspects of the design and construction of a building. This work should reflect optimism and love. The spiritual aspect of the work will emerge if the work is done well.

We try to work with a thoughtful integrity to make buildings that will last and be loved into the future.”

Tod Williams and Billie Tsien

About Interactive Design Architects

Interactive Design Architects (IDEA) is an architecture design firm founded in 1992. Rooted in Chicago, their expertise includes such diverse areas as museums, libraries, facades, zoo habitats, academic institutions, municipal buildings, and more.

In their own words…

To build positive, lasting relationships, we know that we must begin with understanding. Years of experience and hundreds of projects have confirmed that the path to success hinges not only on the design process, but on thoughtful listening and patient attention to the demands and nuances of a community and their culture. For us, collaboration is an opportunity: to create, to learn, to interact with other thought leaders in our profession.

It’s a remarkable opportunity to work with the Obama Foundation and to partner with TWBTA on the design for the Obama Presidential Center. To play a role in a project that will have such a transformative impact on the community and the wider world is a dream come true.

Source: Obama Presidential Center Building in Chicago Architects

23 + 22 Dec 2015

Obama Presidential Center Building in Chicago Architects Shortlist

Location: Southside, Chicago, Illinois, USA

Seven Architecture Firms Are On The Shortlist To Design The Obama Presidential Library

– David Adjaye (London)
– Diller Scofidio + Renfro (New York City)
– John Ronan Architects (Chicago)
– Renzo Piano Building Workshop (Genoa)
– SHoP Architects (New York City)
– Snøhetta (Oslo)
– Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects (New York City)

Chicago buildings:
Chicago skyscrapers
photograph courtesy of Jan Klerks

All of the finalists have been asked to create designs for both of the possible sites in Jackson Park and Washington Park, since the final location has not yet been chosen. They will also meet with the President and First Lady before a final selection is made.

The winner is expected to be announced in mid-2016.

Obama Presidential Center Building design in Hawaii by Snøhetta and WCIT:
Obama Presidential Center Building in Hawaii by Snøhetta and WCIT

Key Projects by Shortlisted Architects

Major Buildings by Obama Presidential Center Shortlisted Architects

David Adjaye of Adjaye/Associates
– National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington DC, USA
– Skolkovo Moscow School of Management, Russia

Diller Scofidio + Renfro
– The Broad Museum, Los Angeles, USA
– High Line in New York City, USA
– Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, MA, USA

John Ronan Architects
– Gary Comer Youth Center, South Side, Chicago, USA
– Poetry Foundation building, River North, Chicago, USA

Renzo Piano of Renzo Piano Building Workshop (Genoa)
– Art Institute of Chicago’s Modern Wing, USA
– Kimbell Art Museum Pavilion Building, KAM, Texas, USA

SHoP Architects
– Barclays Center arena in Brooklyn, New York, USA
– Google headquarters expansion, Silicon Valley, California, USA
– Uber headquarters, San Francisco, California, USA

Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects
– American Folk Art Museum, New York, NY, USA
– Logan Center for the Arts on the University of Chicago, IL, USA
– The Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia, USA

– Bibliotheca Alexandrina, Egypt
– Norwegian National Opera and Ballet, Oslo, Norway

Chicago architecture:
Chicago skyscraper buildings
photo courtesy of Jan Klerks

Obama Presidential Center Building design in Hawaii by Snøhetta and WCIT:
Obama Presidential Center Building in Hawaii by Snøhetta
images courtesy of Snøhetta

1 Sep 2015

Obama Presidential Center Building in Chicago

Location: Southside, Chicago, Illinois, USA

The Barack Obama Foundation Releases Request for Qualifications for Architects

Chicago – 26 Aug 2015 The Barack Obama Foundation released a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) soliciting submissions from firms interested in providing architectural design services for the Obama Presidential Center (OPC).

The RFQ outlines the goals of the OPC and asks for submission of credentials, references, examples of prior work, and additional materials to the Foundation. The Foundation has invited architectural design firms to respond to the RFQ, which has also been posted on the Foundation’s website.

The OPC will include a library holding the Presidential archives, a museum focusing on the Obama Presidency and issues of our time, and space for programs and initiatives that advance the Foundation’s public mission. In May 2015, the Foundation announced plans to build the OPC on the South Side of Chicago on one of two potential sites: Jackson Park or Washington Park.

“We’re thrilled that the process of selecting an architectural firm for the Obama Presidential Center is underway,” said Martin Nesbitt, Chairman of the Obama Foundation. “This process is the next step toward the creation of the Obama Presidential Center, which will serve as a forum to inspire and empower people to take action on the big challenges of our time.”

Responses to the RFQ must be submitted by September 16, 2015. The Foundation will review and summarize the responses and present them to the President and First Lady. Once the President and First Lady have selected finalists later this year, the Foundation will issue a Request for Proposals to these firms. The Foundation does not anticipate announcing the architect until after a contract has been executed in early 2016.

For more information about the Foundation and the future Obama Presidential Library, visit http://www.barackobamafoundation.org or follow @ObamaFoundation on Twitter.

Obama Presidential Center in Chicago information from Obama Foundation

Website : Obama Presidential Center in Chicago Request for Qualifications for Architects

President Obama Presidential Library in Illinois – July 2016 : Joel’s Column Vol. IV, Number 1

Location: Southside, Chicago, Illinois, USA

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