MEDORA, N.D. - The competition to design the Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library is over, as Norway's Snøhetta has been selected as the winner - defeating fellow architecture firms Studio Gang and Henning Larsen.
Per the rules of the competition, each design entry drew from the rough terrain of the badlands of Western North Dakota. Designs also had to incorporate the conservation policies Roosevelt championed while president.
Snøhetta's building will be constructed with "natural and renewable" materials, which, judging by the pictures, will include quite a bit of timber.
"The design of the Library is more than a building," explains Snøhetta's project description, adding, "it is a journey through a preserved landscape of diverse habitats, punctuated with small pavilions providing spaces for reflection and activity. The Library’s gently sloping roof looks to the northeast, gazing over the National Park, historical settings in the Little Missouri River valley, and the Elkhorn Ranch far in the distance, further connecting the Library of tomorrow with its origins in the past."
"The building’s location at the northeast edge of the butte preserves the landscape for conservation research while offering a setting for educational walks, leisure, and recreation. As visitors set out on the Library loop, they will encounter adventurous paths which connect to the nearby Maah Daah Hey Trail as well as several small pavilions. Ranging from contemplative nooks to expansive vistas, these pavilions invite visitors to experience Roosevelt’s trials and triumphs in dialogue with the landscapes that shaped him. The Library is understood to be the buildings, pavilions, paths and landscape."
Over the summer, the three finalist architecture firms (initially narrowed down from 12 entrants) visited the site in Medora, North Dakota to meet with local stakeholders. An unnamed local construction firm will work with Snøhetta to complete the project. Timber is expected to be sourced locally.
The Library will serve as an all-year tourist destination.
The Library should open in 2024 or 2025, if it's able to rack up $100 million in private donations by next year.
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