The recently concluded 2014 Chicago Prize invited participants to share their speculative designs of the Barack Obama Presidential Library that rethinks the traditional typology of the U.S. Presidential Library.
In Lexington, KY-based Informal Office's approach, Social Container, the Presidential Library becomes an engaging hub of activity with a culinary school, recreation center, cafe, free clinic, pharmacy, and gardens. The jury didn't select their submission as one of the winners, but their approach is still worth a peek.
Project description: "In the spirit of the spark that ignited Barak Obama's presidential campaign, the presidential library is in need of change. Typically, the presidential library acts as a synopsis of a presidential term as told by static objects, signed documents, and artifacts."
"However, its highly secure archival functions acting to protect and preserve history, make it closer typologically to that of a prison, where architectural expression is overridden by the demands of internal security."
"Because the presidential library should be more than the static preservation of a memory, the typology must be redefined completely. Removing the burden of storing, securing, displaying and maintaining archives from the building entirely, this proposal frees the typology and redirects it towards more vital public functions."
"This new library fosters a way of embodying the president’s legacy by providing vibrant programmed spaces geared toward a stronger, healthier, and more educated community."
"Social Container proposes an active engagement between the legacy of President Obama’s policies and reformatio ns of health, education, innovation and the daily lives of citizens."
All images courtesy of Informal Office.
More project images below.
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