Obama Presidential Center

Submission: May 10, 2016
Registration: May 10, 2016
Language: English
Location: Chicago, USA
Prizes: 1st Prize: $4,200, 2nd Prize: $2,100, 3rd Prize: $700
Type: Open


This competition challenges designers to create an exceptional presidential library for U.S. President Obama (OPL). We look for design proposals with wide reaching architectural interventions that deal with the challenging South Side of Chicago, and make a case for a sustainable urban and economic growth.

There are currently two potential site locations – one on the east side and the other on the west side of the University of Chicago (see p1.jpg): The Washington Park site and Jackson Park site. You are asked to make a choice between the two sites. There were numerous alter-native site proposals, e.g. sites in New York, Hawaii, Chicago etc. The Obama Foundation has identified these two properties as the ones with the most potential, based on key assumptions, opportunities and limitations relative to their contexts.

This is a sponsored solicitation of visionary design approaches for the OPL, underwritten by Arcbazar, Builtworlds, GreenApple Campus, Forum8, and Autodesk, and seeks the expertise and creativity of the global design and planning community to bring a shared vision for the chosen site to life.

To move closer to a design solution that meets the needs of multiple stakeholders, e.g. the ObamaFoundation, the City of Chicago, the University of Chicago, the citizens of the South Side of Chicago, we propose this “Design Competition” for designers all around the globe. The competition is intended to solicit design concepts for the OPL that are aesthetically pleasing, pedestrian-oriented, sensitive to neighborhood context, and attractive to the Obama Foundation and to the other stakeholders. The rough building program is provided below; however, each participant is welcome to change/adjust the program as needed based on their own research of opportunities, of comparable presidential libraries, or of customized needs and expectations of the Obama presidency itself.

Designs shall:
a. be solely the result of the design effort of the designer; and
b. be unique original and not infringe upon any copyright or the rights of any person.

All submitted design proposals shall be evaluated by a team of 3-5 renowned architects on June, 16, 2016 in Chicago. Also the public should vote on project submissions and given the opportunity to provide comment on proposed de-signs. All designs shall be evaluated based on the criteria described below:

– Sensitivity of scale, massing, and design elements to neighborhood context – 40%
– Wider Urban Design of South side Chicago – 20%
– Quality of publicly-accessible open space and other amenities provided for in the use program and design – 20%
– Impact of design on neighborhood multimodal circulation system – 20%

The total award should be $10,000 in total and be distributed as such:
a. 1st Prize: $4,200
b. 2nd Prize: $2,100
c. 3rd Prize: $700
d. Voters’ Choice Award: $3,000
e. GreenApple Campus Student Award
f. Autodesk BIM Award

February 9, 2016 Launch of Competition
May 10, 2016 Deadline for Design Submissions
June 16, 2016 Evaluation and Prize Ceremony in Chicago

i. Participation in design competition should consist of the following:
A. Registration to competition at www.arcbazar.com website
B. Brief description of concept (recommended limit of 250 words)
C. Deliverables:
(1) Larger Urban Plan, 1:1000
(1) Siteplan, 1:400
(1) Site Section, 1:400
(x) Plan views, 1:200
(2) Section, 1:200
(4) Elevation, 1:200
(3) Perspective/Axonometric Views:
a. (1) exterior free perspective/axonometric views that best describe your design
b. (2) interior free perspective/axonometric views that best describe your design
D. Top submissions will be notified and will be required to submit a 3D model (*.3ds, *.fbx, *.dae, *.obj, or *.dxf ) of the library within its property lines – property lines should be included for registration purposes within larger model. Forum8 will provide Project VR technology to integrate the 3D models of Top submissions, and allow users to evaluate project through their UC-win/Road software. (You can download trial version at: http://www.forum8.co.jp/english/uc-win/win-road-trial-down.htm)
E. Each participating top designer or team, will be asked to upload a video (max.90sec) describing in person/team their design approach. These will be also used by users to understand the design project in more detail.
F. Top designers will be asked to be available online (through video conferencing) during award ceremony in Chicago on June 16th, 2016. Exact time will be given to top designers.

ii. All submissions should be uploaded on www.arcbazar.com website. Submitted images shall not identify names of individuals, firms or organizations.

Award recipients shall receive prizes on June 16, 2016. The selected designs shall be posted on Arcbazar’s website (www.arcbazar.com). All Designers shall receive direct notification.

Phone inquiries shall not be returned. All questions will be answered on the project WALL. E-mails regarding questions that can be answered by reviewing this solicitation shall not receive a response. The sponsors shall periodically post relevant questions and answers on the project wall at www.arcbazar.com.

Please check Precedents PDF document to have a summary on all earlier presidential libraries.

Go to the competition’s website