Wednesday on the South Side of Chicago, former President Barack Obama presented a conceptual design for the Obama Presidential Center to an enthusiastic crowd of community stakeholders and press. Joining him was Dina Griffin of Interactive Design Architects, who is collaborating on the project with Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects | Partners. Along with former first lady Michelle Obama, Williams and Tsien were on hand but, surprisingly, did not participate in the presentation.
Rendered site plans, a perspective, and a model show a promising scheme sensitively integrated into historic Jackson Park, an Olmsted and Vaux lakefront legacy that was the site of the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition. Three stone-clad buildings connected below grade—the Museum, Forum, and Library—form a campus around a public plaza.