Hot on the heels of the transformation of the Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts (AMFA), it has been announced that Studio Gang will return to the Natural State’s capital city of Little Rock to helm a “major” expansion project at the Clinton Presidential Center. Focused on the creation of additional event, education, and exhibition space at the riverside campus formally known as the William J. Clinton Presidential Library and Museum, the just-announced project will also include the new Hillary Rodham Clinton Institute. Per the Clinton Foundation, which is based at the existing complex, the new institute will serve as a repository for the former first lady and U.S. Secretary of State’s personal archives and as a “hub for her nonprofit and advocacy work.”
A design for the Clinton Center expansion has not been revealed; more details on particulars of the project, including its estimated size and cost, will be revealed by the foundation next year.
Set within a nearly 30-acre park along Arkansas River roughly a mile north of the AMFA and MacArthur Park in downtown Little Rock, the 152,000-square-foot Clinton Center was inaugurated in November 2004 at a cost of $152 million as the 13th presidential library in the United States. Polshek Partnership, the predecessor firm of Ennead Architects, designed the main library and museum building, a cantilevered glass and steel structure sited perpendicular to the river and meant to evoke a bridge. Joining Polshek was Ralph Appelbaum Associates as museum and exhibition designer and Hargreaves Associates in the role of landscape architect. Little Rock-ian architecture practice Polk Stanley Wilcox was also a key player in the design of the Clinton Center and will return for the expansion to work in collaboration with Chicago-based Studio Gang.
When it debuted, Polshek’s main building—now LEED Platinum–certified—garnered acclaim for its myriad sustainable design strategies and was one of the first buildings to achieve LEED certification in Arkansas. In a statement, Jeanne Gang, founding partner of Studio Gang, said that the expansion project will follow closely in the center’s low-impact footprint.
“The Clinton Presidential Center was built to set a new standard for environmental performance,” Gang said. “We are excited to be working with the Clinton Foundation to advance that legacy, while also strengthening the Clinton Center’s role as a welcoming hub for cultivating a new generation of global leaders.”
Clinton Foundation executive director Stephanie S. Streett described Studio Gang as “the perfect partner to help us explore opportunities to expand our impact with a focus on sustainability and bringing people together.”
Just two hours to the east and just across the squiggly Arkansas–Tennessee state line formed by the Mississippi River in Memphis, Studio Gang’s Tom Lee Park (like the AMFA revamp in Little Rock, a project executed in collaboration with landscape architecture studio SCAPE) opens to the public Labor Day weekend.