Obama’s Presidential Center In Hawaii :
Eager to build an education-based and actions-oriented atmosphere, three renowned architectural firms compete for their designs to represent Barack Obama’s Hawaii presidential center based in Honolulu. A global youth leadership academy, a convening institute, a university center for community organizing and an interactive visitor center are to create the program of this complex.
Snøhetta and WCIT architecture, MOS and workshop-HI, and Allied Works Architectures designs are to be compared and the architects who will ultimately design the center will be selected in a separate process. Columbia University, the University of Chicago, and the University of Illinois at Chicago, the University of Hawaii was chosen as one of the four finalists hosting at the Obama centre in 2014.
The Barack Obama foundation will be supervising the project’s design, construction, and program operations and the location of the design will be determined by the president and the first lady by mid-2015. David Lassner; president of the University of Hawaii believes that this design will help the president maintain his legacy and continue making a difference around the world even after the president leaves the white house. He states ‘we are proposing a presidential center that not only commemorates Barack Obama’s legacy, but also advances innovation, research and education.’
A single coral polyp is the beginning of land and all the life upon it according to the kumulipo; a native Hawaiian chant. And much like the polyp, the center of the Snøhetta and WCIT design has the unique opportunity to create a new environment that encourages assembly, provides places to come together, and creates shared community resources.
The Allied Works Architecture vision, on the other hand, depends on the attempt to connect the beauty of the land and the elegance of the Hawaiian culture. It creates an area to communicate and to take a step forward into solving national issues. It also represents the history of president Obama and serves as a tribute to his principals regardless of the completion of his term of office. The centre of the allied works design relies on three: the land, the community and the integrity. The centre also represents the values of our democracy, the beauty of our land, and the resilience and ingenuity of our people.
To MOS and workshop-HI the centre displays the diversity in the Hawaiian environment. It transforms the kaka‘ako waterfront park into a campus containing multiple outdoor buildings such as pavilion structures, public courtyards, podiums and a park-like roof structure made up of public gardens. On the Makua side of the centre visitors discover endangered species, on the Makai side they travel through gardens and enjoying the view of the Diamond Head, the Pacific Ocean and downtown Honolulu. The MOS and workshop-HI design aims to be as public and open as possible.