President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama have selected the architects who will design the Obama Presidential Center in Chicago. Choosing from among 144 architects from across the globe (the list was narrowed to seven last fall), the Obamas picked husband-and-wife team Tod Williams and Billie Tsien, whose past works include the Barnes Foundation art museum in Philadelphia.
No preliminary designs have been released to the public, but you can expect the building housing Obama's archives and a museum about his two-term presidency to be a modernist structure packed with cutting-edge digital technologies. The center will be the latest high-profile architectural project in a city renowned for its architecture, and it will be the first presidential library built in a predominantly African-American neighborhood. If only Chicago could decide which neighborhood that will be—Washington Park or Jackson Park, both located on the city's south side.
Estimates say the construction will cost at least $500 million, and won't get underway until well after Obama leaves office in January of next year. The center might not be open until after his successor's first term, either. Right now the project is expected to be finished in 2020 or 2021.