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MUDD 21 - City Visions II

Obama Presidential Center, Chicago 51st Street, Washington Park

Michele Apricia + Ju Xizhe + Li Han + Wan Li + Wang Mengya The vision is to create a building embedded in the landscape, honouring the spatial flow of the Olmsted park, while also relating across the ‘Half Mile’ 51st Street to Provident Hospital and next door to Walter H Dyett High School in the park. Sited at the north-west corner of Washington Park, the Obama Presidential Center preserves the significant arboretum facing Martin Luther King Drive and connects with 51st Street Station on the Green Line. Curving pathways in the Olmsted manner are woven around the largely underground complex of the OPC, the building is thus designed as an architectonic landscape evoking the ‘Urbs in Horto’ (‘City in a Garden’) tradition of Chicago and extending the world-renowned sustainable development initiatives of the city. At the same time, a pavilion emerges along 51st street to provide an urban presence, as well as light wells to define the pathways within

Urban design framework


Washington Park, conceptually shown in Miesian form to relate to the Miesian expression of the 1972 Dyett High School. Mixed-use commercial infill is developed along 51st Street from the CTA station to activate the area and provide a significant economic boost to the neighborhood. A prominent health and wellness center is proposed for the Provident Hospital on 51st Street across from the Obama Presidential Center as a living testament to the President’s health initiatives. Ellsworth Drive, reduced in scale, is redirected to cross Martin Luther King Drive and cut through the long blocks in this part of Washington Park. This is a key move to create the site for the OPC and regenerate its urban setting by increasing the porosity of the grid in and around the ‘L’ station.

Mudd folio final 02 mar 2016  
Mudd folio final 02 mar 2016  

City Visions: Method & Design Chicago | Berlin | Sydney International Studio workshops from the Masters of Urban Development & Design degree...