The presidential library system in the United States is a nationwide network of libraries that preserve and make public president’s statements, papers, records, and other historic materials. President Obama’s presidential library is to be built in his hometown of Chicago, at the University of Chicago where he was a law professor before becoming a senator. The University of Chicago has been chosen over Columbia University in New York, the University of Hawaii and the University of Illinois at Chicago. The final site of the building has not yet been decided.
Two winners of Chicago Architectural Club 2014- Chicago Prize Competition for Barack Obama’s Presidential Library are the Design team of Zhu Wei, Fu Junsheng and Liang Yinka and Aras Burak Sen.
The first project includes six divided sections each showcasing different aspects of President Obama’s life; early life and career, legislative career, presidential campaigns, presidency, public image, family and personal life. The library is imagined to reflect President’s charisma but also the urban grid of the city. The building’s roof would also be fully utilized and visible from surrounding skyscrapers.
The second project’s primary function would be to serve as a public forum with a focus on President’s years in office. The library would be divided into eight levels, where each one will archive a single year of Obama’s presidency. As levels would be of different heights, each of them would provide different views of Chicago. The ground floor is designed in a shape of a peace sign that represents the hope that Obama’s selection brought, and the peace sign would change on every level symbolizing the deviation of that hope over years. The peace sign construction would also serve as a bridge connecting three riverbanks.
sources: thehayride.com, archinet.com, marinacityonline.com