We are beyond thrilled to be one of three firms selected by the Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library Foundation to compete for the commission of design architect of the Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library. The Presidential Library is to be located in the Badlands of North Dakota, one of the United States’ most distinct and majestic landscapes – and one with a deep and significant history.
“We’re deeply honored to be part of this historic opportunity and are looking forward to immersing ourselves in the majesty of the Badlands,” says Michael Sørensen, Partner and director of Henning Larsen’s office in New York. “For us, the architecture and the landscape must embody the spirit of the Badlands, the spirit and sanctity of place – now, tomorrow and for generations to come. This project could not be conceived anywhere else. It could not belong anywhere else.”
Design concepts are due July 17 and will be made public on August 10 and selected in September. Ken Vein, director of design + construction, is working with city officials in Medora and the Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation to facilitate safe working sessions in Medora by each architectural and design team in June.
“This project is one that stands on the shoulders of giants,” says Sørensen. “Theodore Roosevelt was a citizen and leader unafraid to push up his sleeves and take on the job at hand – a legacy shared by generations of North Dakotans. We look forward to going there, working with the community, and being part of a historic design process to shape a historic future.”
We are supported in our bid by Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects, an internationally recognized design practice whose research-based process generates designs that are anchored in the cultures and ecologies that shape landscapes. NBW’s shared iterative process allows the vision and values of each project to be reflected in the landscape, weaving circulation and program to articulate the unique narratives of the place and region. In recent years NBW has been entrusted with the design of significant cultural landscapes throughout the world, including: The Aga Khan Garden in Alberta Canada, Jefferson’s Monticello and Madison’s Montpelier, and the Flight 93 Memorial in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
Henning Larsen has been recognized by significant awards such as the Praemium Imperiale and, most recently, the European Prize for Architecture. Significant works include Moesgaard Museum in Aarhus, Denmark, Eystur Town Hall in the Faroe Islands, and Harpa Concert Hall in Reykjavik, Iceland – winner of the EU Mies Award.
Our work is driven by context and rooted in place. With studios in New York City, Copenhagen, Oslo, Munich, Hong Kong, and the Faroe Islands, we work in countless contexts and communities, from Copenhagen to Cincinnati, Tromsø to Toronto, Munich to, now, Medora.
“We consider architecture not as objects, but as a collection of actions,” says Sørensen. “The role and responsibility of a designer is to create spaces and environments that compel people to inhabit, experience, and sense their surroundings. We are thrilled to work with the people of Medora and the Foundation to envision a design in which they can see not just the legacy of Teddy Roosevelt, but themselves.”
We, alongside competitors Snøhetta and Studio Gang, were selected from a 12 firm longlist that included firms such as Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Renzo Piano Building Workshop, Ennead, and Mass Design Group.
Learn more about the project at the website for the Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library.