HYDE PARK — The Obama Foundation has released a list of seven architects being considered for the job of designing the presidential library in Chicago.
The foundation, tasked with developing Barack Obama’s presidential library, on Monday released a list heavy on New York City firms, but that also included one Chicago firm and two European firms.
The list includes Adjaye Associates of London, England; Diller Scofidio and Renfro of New York City; John Ronan Architects of Chicago; Renzo Piano Building Workshop of Genova, Italy; SHoP Architects of New York City; Snøhetta, New York City; and Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects of New York City.
“The foundation received submissions from an impressive list of architects with a range of styles, expertise, and experience,” said Martin Nesbitt, chairman of the foundation. “These finalists offer a variety of backgrounds and styles, and any one of them would be an excellent choice.”
John Ronan Architects, the only Chicago-based firm on the list, designed the Gary Comer Youth Center in Grand Crossing and the Poetry Foundation building in River North.
Whether Chicagoans recognize the names on the list or not, they probably are familiar with their local work.
Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects designed the Logan Center for the Arts at 915 E. 60th St. on the University of Chicago campus, and Diller Scofidio and Renfro, which designed the High Line in New York City, is designing the university’s Rubenstein Forum.
Renzo Piano Building Workshop is the group behind the Modern Wing at the Art Institute of Chicago.
Though he has no buildings in Chicago yet, David Adjaye is familiar to many visitors to the Art Institute, where his work is currently on display for a mid-career retrospective.
Though Snøhetta hasn’t done any buildings in Chicago, it has produced probably the clearest vision for the public of what it would do on the Obama library job when it did conceptual renderings for proposed sites in Hawaii.
SHoP may be the least familiar in Chicago. The firm is working on the Uber headquarters in San Francisco and has done East Coast projects like the Barclays Arena in Brooklyn, N.Y.
The Obama Foundation has not selected a site for the library and still is debating between locations in Jackson and Washington parks.
The firms are expected to return preliminary plans for both sites to the foundation during the first quarter of 2016.
John Ronan Architects, which designed the Gary Comer Youth Center, is the only Chicago firm among the finalists to design the Obama Library. [DNAinfo/Linze Rice]
Snøhetta has already done conceptual drawings of what it would do with the Obama library job for Hawaii's failed bid to get the presidential center. [Courtesy of Hawaii Presidential Center]
Diller Scofidio and Renfro, the team behind the High Line in New York City, will design their first building in Chicago on the University of Chicago campus and is also now being considered for the Obama library. [Courtesy of Friends of the High Line]
Renzo Piano Building Workshop, which designed the Modern Wing at the Art Institute of Chicago, is among the seven finalists. [Flickr/Richard Yuan]
Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects, which designed the Logan Center for the Arts on the University of Chicago campus, is vying for the Obama library job. [University of Chicago/Jason Smith]
The National Museum of African American History and Culture is among Adjaye Associates projects. [Smithsonian]
SHoP designed the Barclays Arena in Brooklyn, New York, but has yet to build a project in Chicago. [Wikimedia Commons/AEMoreira042281]
For more neighborhood news, listen to DNAinfo Radio here: