Basecamp by Studio Gang and OLIN


Studio Gang and OLIN’s Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library is conceived as a basecamp embedded in the North Dakota Badlands—a transformative gathering place where immersion in T.R.’s story and the surrounding environment brings people together to find common ground and inspires and equips them to launch back into the world with renewed passion and purpose. Like one of the Badlands’ fantastic rock formations, the building emerges from the land as if carved away by water and wind.

The building is composed of three, horseshoe-shaped elements that organize the different functions of the Library. Each horseshoe houses the distinct activities on the inside while simultaneously embracing the dramatic outdoor environment, creating protected gardens and terraces that offer varied views of the landscape, showcase native plant communities, and provide habitat for wildlife.

The spaces between the volumes act like the cracks in the Badlands’ clay-rich soil, allowing light and air to enter the interior. At the building’s heart, the three horseshoes tilt upward to form a grand, dome-like central space from which all of the activities of the Library can be seen and explored. Importantly, the design treats architecture and landscape as symbiotic and intimately connected with the site’s greater ecology.

Informed by nature’s means of resilience in the harsh conditions of the Badlands, the project’s passive and active green strategies work together to achieve a net-zero, carbon-neutral Library with a healthy, inspiring environment full of natural light and fresh air. In addition, the design integrates an ecological restoration and management plan for the entire site that will heal and renew the surrounding ecosystems over time, making the Library a living model for how people, wildlife, and agriculture can coexist and thrive. Source by Studio Gang and OLIN.

  • Location: Medora, North Dakota, USA
  • Architect: Studio Gang and OLIN
  • Applied Ecological Services: Atelier Ten, Guy Nordenson & Associates, and Arup
  • Year: 2020
  • Images: Courtesy of Studio Gang

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