HYDE PARK — Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, the landscape architects behind Maggie Daley Park, will lead the team that will design the grounds for Barack Obama’s presidential library, the Obama Foundation announced Monday.
The New York-based firm will lead a team that also includes Chicago-based landscape architects Site Design Group and Living Habitats in designing the nearly 20-acre grounds around the library in Jackson Park, the foundation announced Monday.
Michael Van Valkenburgh, president and CEO of his namesake firm, said in the announcement that he wants to create a design that honors park designer Frederick Law Olmsted’s vision and is accessible, inspirational joyful.
Locally, Van Valkenburgh has designed Maggie Daley Park Downtown and spider island at the Chicago Botanic Gardens, but is better known nationally for his work on Brooklyn Bridge Park.
Site Design Group founder Ernie Wong should already have some familiarity with the site.
“Growing up in the Hyde Park, Kenwood community has infused in me a sense of responsibility to the South Side and the city as a whole,” Wong said.
He said he’s excited to help make sure the site reflects the history and traditions of the South Side.
In October, the foundation announced the main library would be designed by Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects, the firm behind the Logan Center for the Arts on the University of Chicago campus.