Master of Architecture
This thesis is concerned with the relationship between an institution and its context. An important cultural function of institutions is to draw from their environment to form narratives. Once established, these narratives influence a society’s conception of itself. The Presidential Library is a particular kind of institution that frames the narrative of a Presidency and whose termple-like architectural form has historically indicated a view of the Presidency that is sacred and closed to new contribution. Conversely, this design is for a Presidential Library and Museum as an open institution, one whose form and material strategy embrace a view of the presidential legacy that includes multiple voices and is constantly shaped by the contributions of its context. The building does this through a number of formal moves, especially by placing its most public amenities in high-density urban intersections and by framing exhibition views such that they always integrate community center program.