Chicago's South Side jumped for joy when the Obamas officially announced that they had selected the Windy City for their presidential library back in May. And the next big step in the lengthy process will be selecting an architect for the so-called Obama Presidential Center. As of this morning, the Obama Foundation has formally kicked off the search for the center's architect. While the Obamas have still yet to make a decision on the specific location of the library, the POTUS and FLOTUS previously indicated that the project's architect would play a pivotal role in deciding whether to build in Jackson Park or Washington Park. According to the Request for Qualifications issued this morning, the Obamas have provided some direction to candidates, indicating that they wish for the project to be "more than a library." In addition to becoming the HQ of the Obama Foundation, the new center will feature an interactive museum, community green spaces, indoor and outdoor performance areas and labs for educational programming.
In addition to offering a timeline for the contest, the 30 page RFQ also suggests that designs and sketches are not being taken. Instead, the Obamas seek "a defined, limited effort from each candidate to present creative ideas in response to the Foundation's project goals and site information provided in the RFP." To help narrow down the field of candidates, the Obamas have hired Pulitzer Prize winning architecture critic Paul Goldberger as a consultant. Previous rumors suggested that the President would select his favorite architect, David Adjaye, for the project. The selection won't be announced this year, but the Obama Foundation anticipates having a contract in place by early next year.
·Architect selection [Obama Foundation]
·Architect selection RFQ [Obama Foundation]
·OK, Now it's Official: Obama Library Coming to the South Side [Curbed Chicago]
·After Months of Speculation, the Obama Presidential Library is Coming to Chicago's South Side [Curbed Chicago]
·Will David Adjaye Design the Obama Presidential Library? [Curbed National]
·All previous Obama Library coverage [Curbed Chicago]