Snøhetta, Allied Works, and others propose dramatic schemes for Obama library In Hawaii

Architecture Unveiled West
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View from the roof of the proposed center. (Luxigon, Architect & Landscape Architect: Snøhetta and WCITARCHITECTURE)

Not to be outdone by proposals in Chicago and New York, Snøhetta and WCITARCHITECTURE have thrown their hats into the ring for the Obama Presidential Library, sketching a unique building in the President’s home state of Hawaii. If selected, their Barack Obama Presidential Center, affiliated with the University of Hawaii in Honolulu, would take its cues from the forms of both a coral reef and the area’s undulating topography.

Exterior view of the Obama library (Luxigon, Architect & Landscape Architect: Snøhetta and WCITARCHITECTURE)

Exterior view of the Obama library. (Luxigon, Architect & Landscape Architect: Snøhetta and WCITARCHITECTURE)

The building would curve around a central courtyard and emerge from the ground with a sloped, planted roof. According to Dawn Hirai, a spokesperson for the presidential center, the proposal is meant to be conceptual, providing the Obama Foundation “an ‘idea’ of what can be done on the ocean front site.” Other ambitious concepts for the 8-acre, state-supplied site were created by Allied WorksMOS with Workshop-HI, and Ferraro Choi.

Open space under the proposed building (Luxigon, Architect & Landscape Architect: Snøhetta and WCITARCHITECTURE)

Open space under the proposed building. (Luxigon, Architect & Landscape Architect: Snøhetta and WCITARCHITECTURE)

An elevated public terrace of the Snøhetta and WCIT building would provide unobstructed views of the famous Point Panic surf break, the Honolulu skyline, and the crater-like Diamond Head State Monument, the island’s most famous landmark. Lifting the building will provide space for an attached park, containing local fixtures like fish ponds, taro fields, and salt pans.

Inside the building would contain exhibit spaces, meeting rooms, a restaurant, and facilities for affiliated organizations. According to ABC News, the Obama Foundation, which is overseeing the library competition, has accepted four final proposals. The president and first lady are expected to select the winning bid for the roughly $500 million project by March.

Allied Works has proposed several pavilions united by a curving canopy structure (Allied Works)

Allied Works has proposed several pavilions united by a curving canopy structure. (Allied Works)

Under the undulating Allied Works building (Allied Works)

Under the undulating Allied Works building. (Allied Works)

MOS's scheme is engulfed in the area's dense foliage (MOS)

MOS and Workshop-HI’s scheme is engulfed in the area’s dense foliage. (MOS/Workshop-HI)

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