HOK proposes Obama Presidential Library


Architecture and engineering office HOK has proposed plans for the Barack Obama Presidential Library that aims to promote sustainable growth and drive economic development within the Bronzeville district in Chicago.

Working alongside The Museum Campus Foundation, the structure is planned for a historic neighbourhood located on the south side of Chicago.

The scheme is part of a larger development in that area which aims to extend the Chicago Museum campus southwards to enable better public access to the shoreline of Lake Michigan.


An elevated park is so proposed as part of the project which will welcome visitors to the site as well as offering impressive views across the area, creating a green space that could potentially house vertical farms and offer land dedicated to the research of environmental sciences.

Peter Ruggiero, design principal of HOK’s Chicago practice said: “Our proposal challenges the historic tend of designing presidential libraries as static repositories of a presidency. By fully realising the potential of the site, the Barack Obama Presidential Library would go beyond cataloguing President Obama’s eight years in office.

“As living part of this historic south side neighbourhood, it would drive economic development and reinforce a sense of place at a crossroads of Chicago.

“The Barack Obama Presidential Library represents a seed of transformation that, once planted, would have the power to revitalise this important site,” he added. “It creates new urban spaces that will reinvigorate the local community and initiate enduring change.”

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