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Obama Presidential Center

STONE CONSULTANT: Quarra Stone Company
CLIENTS: Obama Presidential Center Foundation, The Center Consortium, TWBTA
ARCHITECT: Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects (TWBTA)
BUILDER: Lakeside Alliance & Turner Construction
TESTING FACILITIES: Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates (WJE) and Research Institute of Sweden (RISE)
ENGINEERING: Atelier One and Rockey Structures

The Obama Presidential Center, located in Chicago, Illinois, is destined to become a celebrated landmark for the city, characterized by its prominent location, distinctive design, and elegant stone enclosure. The entire building is enveloped in stone, expected to gracefully age and weather over time. To ensure the aging process is both dignified and durable, the selection of the right stone and assembly system was of utmost importance.

Obama Presidential Center's Collaboration with Quarra Stone Company
For this ambitious endeavor, the Obama Presidential Center collaborated with the Quarra Stone Company, entrusting them to expertly select the stone materials for the project. Positioned in Jackson Park on Chicago's south side, the Center encompasses five buildings, which will serve as a gathering place for the exploration and education of President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, and their influential eight-year tenure as leaders of the United States of America.

160,000 Sq. Ft. of Domestically Sourced Granite to Create Iconic Tower
The aspiration for the Center is to achieve an ideal blend of aesthetics and functionality, and to accomplish this, the buildings will be adorned with approximately 160,000 square feet of domestically sourced granite. One of the standout features will be the tallest tower, rising over 200 feet and becoming a defining and symbolic element of the Center. To find the perfect stone, an exhaustive global exploration of 4,200 different stone options was conducted, ultimately refining the project parameters to prioritize domestic stones with marble-like characteristics, while excluding actual marble content.

Project Objectives for Ideal Stone Selection
Quarra Stone met the project's objectives for stone selection, fulfilling key criteria such as sourcing domestically, aligning with the intended aesthetic design, ensuring a service life of 100 years, adhering to commercial viability, and staying within the allocated budget.

Seamless Collaboration Facilitates Successful Stone Selection Process
Throughout the entire process, Quarra collaborated seamlessly with various entities involved in the project, being specifically hired to address their distinct needs and requirements. Our factory in Madison, Wisconsin, served as a central hub for conducting mockups and team meetings, facilitating efficient project coordination. In addition, we orchestrated visits to quarries and testing facilities, affording stakeholders the opportunity for firsthand exploration and examination of stone options. To provide tangible examples for evaluation and reference, exemplars were thoughtfully constructed during the selection process.

Obama Presidential Center Stone Selection: A Seamless Collaboration with Quarra Stone Company
Obama Presidential Center Stone Selection: A Seamless Collaboration with Quarra Stone Company
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