CTBUH Chapter Event

Hope as Homebase: Engineering the Obama Presidential Center’s South Side Vision

Tuesday, 14 November 2023 | Chicago Architecture Center, 111 E Wacker Dr, Chicago, IL 60601 | Chicago

The Obama Presidential Center project, slated for completion in 2025, reflects the Obama Foundation’s mission of inclusivity and community investment. The extensive, complex program involved in the design, engineering, and construction of the Obama Presidential Center across a 19.3-acre site called for an equally diverse and capable team. With 61 percent of construction contracts awarded to diverse vendors and 31 percent of the workforce hired from the South and West Sides of Chicago, the project is already succeeding as a catalyst for equitable construction and investment. 

Join Roark Frankel, Director of Planning & Construction at the Obama Foundation and Ben Sexton, Senior Project Engineer at Thornton Tomasetti for a lively conversation about the vision, engineering, and design of the Obama Presidential Center. Hosted by CTBUH Chicago at the Chicago Architecture Center, the event will be available virtually, while the in-person event will include networking and refreshments.

About the project:

Located on a 19.3-acre vibrantly landscaped campus in Chicago’s historic Jackson Park on the city’s South Side, the Obama Presidential Center will house a library, museum, athletic center, and a forum building with a programming hub called the Democracy in Action Lab (DIAL). The core project team includes Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects + Partners (design), Thornton Tomasetti (structural engineering), Lakeside Alliance (contractor), and Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates (landscape).



Roark Frankel, Director of Planning & Construction, Obama Foundation

Ben Sexton, Senior Project Engineer, Thornton Tomasetti

Number of attendees: 79

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