All images courtesy of Chicago Architectural Club
Following Chicago’s selection as one of three cities being considered to host Barack Obama’s Presidential Library, The Chicago Architectural Club has revealed the winners of the competition. The civic institution will not only house a collection of artifacts and documents relating to the president’s life, but will also provide an educational infrastructure and framework for a variety of outreach and community programs. Read more about the two winning designs below.
The first selected entry takes the form of a floating ring with elevated pathways. Designed by Zhu Wenyi, Fu Junsheng, and Liang Yiang, the scheme utilizes the roof of the library as a fifth elevation, capitalizing on its prominent location.
The scheme would have exhibitions divided into six sections including: early life and career, legislative career, presidential campaigns, presidency, public image, family and personal life. Visitors would experience each section by walking along, and between six parallel tracks allowing them to examine different aspects of the president’s life simultaneously.
The second proposal has been conceived as a giant orb with numerous voids puncturing the sphere’s curved façade. Designed by Aras Burak Sen, the building would be divided into eight levels of differing heights, with openings offering specific views of Chicago. Each level archives a single year of Obama’s time as president.
The amphitheater at the base is designed without any glass or walls, and would provide Chicagoans with a public forum for free speech. The ground floor of the library is shaped like a peace sign to represent the apparent hope felt during Obama’s first year in office, and to serve as a bridge connecting the three riverbanks. ‘The peace sign shape changes on each level, representing the distortion of hope over time’, explained the design team.