The Obama Presidential Center now has an architect! As (finally) announced by the Barack Obama Foundation today, Todd Williams and Billie Tsien won the competition over six other big-name contenders, which included Adjaye Associates, Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Renzo Piano Building Workshop, John Ronan, SHoP, and Snøhetta.
Starting out with 140 interested firms and then down to the final seven who received the Request for Proposals in 2015, the Obamas' selection of the winning architect was first expected to be revealed earlier this year. But unsurprisingly, the announcement had to be delayed — only adding to the anticipation and speculation of who the President and the First Lady would choose.
As lead designer, Todd Williams Billie Tsien Architects will partner with Interactive Design Architects (IDEA) as they begin this historic project, which will be located in Chicago — Barack Obama's adoptive hometown.
“It is a joy, an honor, and a responsibility to create a place that reflects the optimism and integrity of the President and the First Lady,” Todd Williams and Billie Tsien said in a statement on the Barack Obama Foundation website. “This has been a transformative presidency and we will work to make a Center that embodies and expands the Obamas’ vision [...] We have chosen to work on only a few projects at a time, to allow for intense personal involvement in all aspects of the design and construction of a building. This work should reflect optimism and love. The spiritual aspect of the work will emerge if the work is done well.”
You can find previous coverage of the Obama Presidential Center on Bustler's sister site Archinect.
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