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December 22, 2015

Obama Foundation Shortlists Seven Firms for Library Design

The foundation charged with building Barack Obama's $500 million presidential library and museum in Chicago named seven architectural firms Monday as finalists for the sought-after commission, the Chicago Tribune reports. The field includes four New York firms, two from Europe, and one from Chicago and reveals a taste for clean-lined modernism on the part of the president and Michelle Obama, who approved the shortlist, Tribune architecture critic Blair Kamin writes.

The competitors, culled from 140 applications, include Pritzker Prize-winning Italian architect Renzo Piano and Diller Scofidio + Renfro, which designed New York's High Line park and Los Angeles philanthropist Eli Broad's new art museum. The finalists are slated to make presentations to the Obamas at the White House in the first quarter of 2016, submitting conceptual designs for both of the sites on Chicago's South Side being considered for the Barack Obama Presidential Center. A decision is expected by mid-year.