henning larsen unveils proposal for theodore roosevelt presidential library in north dakota

henning larsen unveils proposal for theodore roosevelt presidential library in north dakota

henning larsen has unveiled its design for the theodore roosevelt presidential library in north dakota, US. the proposal takes its cues from the rich landscapes of the north dakotan badlands, comprising four volumes that peek up from the site’s butte. complete with a landmark tower, the library becomes a a hub for community and fluid threshold over which visitors can cross into the sprawling majesty of the theodore roosevelt national park. henning larsen was one of three teams, together with studio gang and snøhetta, chosen to present a proposal for the library. snøhetta’s design eventually came out on top.

henning larsen theodore roosevelt presidential library
image by portraits to be built, all images courtesy of henning larsen

 

 

together with nelson byrd woltz landscape architects, henning larsen developed a design rooted in the landscape and community of the north dakotan badlands, which transform and defined theodore roosevelt as the man, conservationist, and american civic icon he is remembered as today.

henning larsen theodore roosevelt presidential libraryimage by mir

 

 

‘there is a unique and awe-inspiring beauty to everything about the badlands that you simply cannot experience anywhere else,’ says michael sørensen, design lead and partner at henning larsen. ‘the landscape only fully unfolds once you are already within it; once you are, the hills, buttes, fields, and streams stretch as far as you can see.’henning larsen theodore roosevelt presidential libraryimage by portraits to be built

 

 

deeply tied to the area’s landscape, the proposal includes four volumes that peek up from the butte, each a formal reference to the geography of the badlands. ‘the design fuses the landscape and building into one living system emerging from the site’s geology,’ notes thomas woltz, principal and founder of nelson byrd woltz. ‘the buildings frame powerful landscape views to the surrounding buttes and the visitor experience is seamlessly connected to the rivers, trails, and grazing lands surrounding the library.’henning larsen theodore roosevelt presidential libraryimage by portraits to be built

 

 

the four volumes are connected underground, along a continuous narrative trail where theodore roosevelt’s life, work, and legacy are exhibited and experienced. after entering the lobby, visitors follow a sloping spiral path down to the exhibition level, where they encounter seats that encircle a hearth. it is here that the journey begins, gathered together around the fire as roosevelt himself would have done.'the hero's hourney' trail begins at the project's lobbyimage by portraits to be built

 

 

titled ‘the hero’s journey’, the trail comprises a series of spaces that showcase both roosevelt’s legacy and the surrounding landscape. each space overlooks a different aspect of the surroundings, showing off the changing nature of the badlands from every vista and vantage. the start of the trail comprises dark exhibition spaces lit by the soft daylight that streams in from above, while the final stop bathes visitors in full daylight. there, a panoramic window offers views onto the library and landscape from the project’s ‘legacy beacon’ tower.large windows and stairs that double as seating in the exhibition space

 

 

‘theodore roosevelt famously stated “I never would have been president if it had not been for my experiences in north dakota.” after just the small amount of time we’ve been able to spend in medora, it’s clear to us what he meant,’ adds henning larsen’s michael sørensen.the landscape, the people – and the spirit they are both imbued with – is unique, rich, and indomitable. ‘we’re honoured to be a part of medora’s story and hope to help realize this part of its future.’

henning larsen unveils proposal for theodore roosevelt presidential library in north dakota henning larsen unveils proposal for theodore roosevelt presidential library in north dakotaimage by mir a winter version of the project's open spaces, filled with snowimage by portraits to be builthenning larsen unveils proposal for theodore roosevelt presidential library in north dakotaimage by mir

henning larsen unveils proposal for theodore roosevelt presidential library in north dakota

the library at nighttimeimage by portraits to be built visitors gather around the fire, as roosevelt himself would have doneimage by portraits to be built

 

 

project info:

 

 

name: theodore roosevelt presidential library

architect: henning larsen

partner responsible: michael sørensen

team: andreas brunvoll, eugene chang, stephanie he, grant mccracken, samantha okolita, veronica varela

landscape architect: nelson byrd woltz landscape architects

location: medora, north dakota, US

client: theodore roosevelt presidential library foundation (TRPLF)

built area: 68,000SF (level 0: 32,000SF, level 1: 20,000SF. level 2: 16,000SF)

site sustainability: sherwood design engineers

building sustainability: integral group

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