The Barack Obama Presidential Library Design Competition


For this year’s Chicago Prize we are calling for speculative proposals for the Barack Obama Presidential Library to initiate a debate in order to rethink and redefine this particular building typology. Within the context of the city, is this institution a stand-alone monument or rather a forum of social-urban interaction and an active extension of a President’s legacy? Would it be considered as one of the civic components of Chicago’s public library system or does it remain autonomous? At its best this is a cultural institution providing a place for the exchange of knowledge, the creation of dialogue and debate, and last but not least an urban niche to read and write.


Competitors are limited to the site area located on the west bank at the confluence of the North, South and Main Branches of the Chicago River. Please see the attached Site Plan A for details.


This is a speculative ideas competition. There is no set program for this competition; your definition of the program is part of the design problem.

Nov. 14, 2014 ———————- Competition Launched with Online Registration & Question and Answer Period opens*

Dec. 15, 2014 ———————- Question and Answer Period closes

Jan. 10, 2015 ———————- Online Registration closes and Submission are due at noon CST

Jan. 20, 2015 ———————- Jury Meeting

Feb. 03, 2015 ———————- Winners Announced & Exhibition Opening Event at the Chicago Architectural Foundation

*Answers to all questions will be posted to the competition website.

Competition Website

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