snøhetta has been selected to build to the theodore roosevelt presidential library, holding off competition from henning larsen and studio gang. snøhetta’s design for the library is topped with an accessible roof that emerges from the north dakotan landscape. developed as a journey through the surrounding badlands, the winning proposal comprises the main building, defined by its unique roof, as well as a series of small pavilions designed for reflection and activity. see the other two proposals for the project in detail here.

snøhetta theodore roosevelt presidential library
all images courtesy of snøhetta



snøhetta’s design for the theodore roosevelt presidential library takes is cues from the president’s personal reflections on the landscape, his interest in environmental stewardship, and periods of quiet introspection and civic engagement. the main building of the library emerges from the ground with a unique roof that echoes the landforms of the surrounding badlands. visitors can access the rooftop to enjoy wide views of the national park and the city of medora during the day, as well as an ideal location for stargazing at night. 

snohetta theodore roosevelt presidential library



inside, the library is complete with large windows that highlight views to historically significant landscapes and complement the rhythm of the interactive exhibitions within. a generous covered porch overlooks the nearby valleys and can be used for gatherings throughout the year. the project’s construction will use natural and renewable materials, while its sophisticated energy systems will set a new standard for sustainable design in the region. ‘our design is oriented to diminish the impact of wind and other climatic factors so that the library will be accessible in all seasons,’ notes snøhetta.

snohetta theodore roosevelt presidential library



the library is located on the northeast edge of the butte, which preserves the landscape while offering a setting for educational walks, leisure, and recreation. adventurous paths connect the project to the nearby maah daah hey trail as well as several small pavilions that allow visitors to experience roosevelt’s trials and triumphs in in dialogue with the landscapes that shaped him. snøhetta will work with a local, north dakota-based architect to deliver the final project.

snohetta theodore roosevelt presidential library



‘through strategies that streamline and activate the visitor experience, we see opportunities to connect the project to larger institutions such as the national park service, universities and schools, and look forward to engaging in a participatory design process to bring community input into a realizable project,’ snøhetta adds. ‘drawing a continuum between past and present, our design captures the legacy of T.R., while also inspiring a commitment to the longevity and health of the region. we see this design process as more than just creating a building; it is about making a place for community, rooted in t.r.’s story and composed of all those who call north dakota home.’

wooden ceiling tops the main buildingthe project offers views of the surrounding landscape




project info:



name: theodore roosevelt presidential library

architect: snøhetta

client: theodore roosevelt presidential library foundation (TRPLF)

location: medora, north dakota, US