Obama Foundation starts search for presidential library architect

rfq obama library

The Obama Foundation has released an invitation for architects to submit their qualifications to design the new presidential library in Chicago.

The foundation asks interested architects to answer a series of questions in a document that should not be more than 40 pages large and should not include “any designs, sketches, or conceptual ideas for the building at this time. Responses that include these will be disqualified from further consideration.”

  1.  A letter expressing interest in this project. Feel free to comment specifically on why the OPC may be an appropriate project for your firm and include any other information that you feel would be relevant to the OPC and would assist us in the choice of an architect.
  2. A general profile of your firm, with attention to how you approach projects of this type. Please list the names of up to ten of your noteworthy projects, which we know may be quite different from the future OPC. In this section, please also indicate whether your firm is an architectural firm that provides full basic architecture services, or a design firm that would partner with an architect of record for the provision of full services for this project.
  3. A description with photographs and/or drawings of at least three and no more than five relevant projects that your firm has completed that demonstrate your ability to create and execute a design that meets the goals of the OPC as expressed in this RFQ document. A minimum of two of these projects should be the work of key team members who will be assigned to this project. One of these projects should be one of the lead designer’s favorite projects, and should include an explanation as to why it is one of his /her favorite projects.
  4. Client references for the projects described in question #3 above, along with current client contact information.
  5. The names and resumes of the members of your firm, including design partners and project managers, who will play key roles in this project.
  6. Specific examples of your firm’s efforts to achieve diversity and integrate MBE, WBE, veteran and other underrepresented firms.
  7. Identification of the single point of contact for your organization with whom to communicate during the selection process, along with his or her contact information.

The RFQ document makes clear that the foundation is considering two sites for the library, Jackson Park and Washington Park, and provides details about the both sites.

RFQ responses are due by Sept. 16.  The foundation says the RFP will be released in late 2015 and the President and First Lady will select the finalist in late 2015 or early 2016.

“The Foundation does not anticipate announcing the architect until after a contract has been executed in early 2016,” it says.

You can download the detailed RFQ document here.


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