Snøhetta win contest for Roosevelt Presidential Library design

24 September 2020
  • Snøhetta
  • Snøhetta
  • Snøhetta
  • Snøhetta
  • Snøhetta

Medora, ND

United States

Selected concept highlights former president’s connection to conservation

The Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library Foundation has selected Snøhetta for the design architect commission of the fifteenth presidential library. The intense design contest began with fourteen firms invited to respond to a Request for Qualifications from a pool of forty submissions. The Design + Architecture Committee narrowed the field to six with virtual interviews during the pandemic, with Snøhetta, Studio Gang, and Henning Larsen announced as the finalists in May. After the finalists completed several visits to the site to develop their ideas, and presented their concepts, Snøhetta were unanimously voted as the winners with a design that strongly references the National Park surroundings.  

Located in Medora, North Dakota, where Roosevelt lived after the deaths of his wife and mother, the Theodore Roosevelt National Park is a critical part of the Foundation’s plan. Snøhetta’s design is informed by the President’s personal reflections on the landscape, his commitment to environmental stewardship, and the periods of quiet introspection and civic engagement that marked his life. Craig Dykers, founding partner of Snøhetta, stated: “We integrated the Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library into the landscape of the North Dakota Badlands. The main library building rises from the butte, echoing the surrounding landforms. Visitors are invited on a journey through a preserved landscape of diverse habitats, punctuated with small pavilions providing spaces for reflection and activity.”

 “One of Theodore Roosevelt’s most enduring legacies is conservation and our national parks,” said Theodore Roosevelt V, great-great-grandson of the 26th president. “This will be the only presidential library alongside a national park and the only national park alongside a presidential library. It will invite visitors to see and experience the very cradle of conservation.”  

With the selection of J.E. Dunn as construction manager, the Foundation’s project team will now select a local architect, based in North Dakota, to work on the ground during construction.

Lucy Nordberg
TenderStream Head of Research

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