Chicago Architectural Club calls for speculative proposals on Obama Library

Architecture Awards Midwest News Newsletter
(michael sorkin studio)

A previously released proposal for the Obama Presidential Library. (michael sorkin studio)

As several Chicago sites—as well as institutions in New York City and Hawaii—vie to host Barack Obama’s Presidential Library, the Chicago Architectural Club is “calling for speculative proposals” to consider the design impacts of the nation’s 14th presidential library.

Submissions are due January 10, one month after official contenders for the library have to submit their proposals to The Barack Obama Foundation. Winners will be announced February 3 at the Chicago Architecture Foundation, 224 South Michigan Avenue. First prize nets $1,500, while second takes $1,000 and third gets $750. The Architectural Club and CAF will exhibit the winning projects on their websites.

Jurors for the award include Andy Metter (Epstein), Brian Lee (SOM), Dan Wheeler (Wheeler Kearns Architects), Elva Rubio (Gensler), Geoffrey Goldberg, (G. Goldberg + Associates) and John Ronan (John Ronan Architects).

More information on submission protocol is available on the Chicago Architectural Club’s website

AN‘s editorial page has called for the library to catalyze the development of public space wherever it ends up, and the speculative designs offered by the Club’s annual Chicago Prize are sure to spur good conversation on that topic. The competition literature identifies the site as the rail yard at the southwest corner of the Chicago River confluence—a site already devoted to Goettsch PartnersRiver Point development, currently under construction.

The site chosen for speculative Obama Presidential Library designs is the same as River Point, an office tower currently under construction. (Chicago Architectural Club)

The site chosen for speculative Obama Presidential Library designs is the same as River Point, an office tower currently under construction. (Chicago Architectural Club)

In library news more likely to materialize as built work, the University of Chicago is mulling Jackson Park as a potential site. The Hyde Park university where Obama taught law is also reportedly considering an empty lot at Garfield Boulevard and Martin Luther King Drive, the South Shore Cultural Center, and an area of Jackson Park across from Hyde Park Academy High School at Cornell Avenue and Hayes Drive, according to DNAinfo Chicago.

The site chosen for speculative Obama Presidential Library designs is the same as River Point, an office tower currently under construction. (Chicago Architectural Club)

The site chosen for speculative Obama Presidential Library designs is the same as River Point, an office tower currently under construction. (Chicago Architectural Club)

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