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William J. Clinton Presidential Center
Ennead Architects

June 11, 2007 /

Little Rock, Arkansas, USA

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Photo courtesy Polshek Partnership Architects

The William J. Clinton Presidential Center is located within a new 28-acre public park along the south bank of the Arkansas River, directly east of downtown Little Rock.

The integrated architectural and site design transforms a former industrial site of old warehouses and undeveloped open space into a singular destination that is an integral element in the revitalization and expansion of downtown Little Rock.

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Photo courtesy Polshek Partnership Architects

Central to its development is the riverfront park, which links to and extends the existing chain of parks along the river. Included within the park are areas ranging from active zones, including a grass amphitheater, playground, and seasonal festival grove to the west, to quieter, more natural spaces closer to the City to the east.

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Photo courtesy Polshek Partnership Architects

The main body of the Center is perpendicular to the river and elevated off the ground plane, allowing the new park to flow uninterrupted underneath. Clad in glass and metal, the building's bridge-like form emphasizes connections, and is a reference to Little Rock's distinctive "Six Bridges."

Reinforcing the link to downtown, the principal entrance is on axis with the City's main thoroughfare.

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Photo courtesy Polshek Partnership Architects

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Photo courtesy Polshek Partnership Architects

The main feature inside is a naturally lit 240-foot-long, 40-foot-high exhibition space.

In addition to the permanent exhibition hall, the building contains a temporary exhibition gallery, an education and media center, a Great Hall for symposia, dinners and receptions, a cafe and gift shop, and a replica of the Oval Office.

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Photo courtesy Polshek Partnership Architects

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Photo courtesy Polshek Partnership Architects

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Photo courtesy Polshek Partnership Architects

Contrasting with the aerial quality of the "bridge building," is the earthbound nature of the archive building, clad in stone and concrete, which is linked to the main building. While the documents and objects of the presidential archive are located in a secure, below-grade environment, the archivists occupy the light-filled glass and steel research facility above.

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Photo courtesy Polshek Partnership Architects

Two historic structures on the site, the Rock Island Railroad Bridge and the 1899 Choctaw Station, have been transformed into integral parts of the Presidential Center complex, expanding its outreach and furthering its connection to the City. The bridge is employed as a pedestrian crossing, linking the site to North Little Rock, and the refurbished Choctaw Station houses the Clinton Public Policy Institute and Clinton School of Public Service.

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Photo courtesy Polshek Partnership Architects
President Clinton speaking to the two design partners: Richard M. Olcott, (middle) and James S. Polshek (foreground).

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Model photo courtesy Polshek Partnership Architects

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Drawing courtesy Polshek Partnership Architects
Site Plan
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Drawing courtesy Polshek Partnership Architects
Ground Floor Plan
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Drawing courtesy Polshek Partnership Architects
Third Floor Plan
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Drawing courtesy Polshek Partnership Architects
Section

Facts about William J. Clinton Presidential Center

Project Size

Bridge Building: 80,000 ft2
Archive Building: 70,000 ft2
Choctaw Station renovated space: 13,200 ft2
Park: 30 ac

Architects:
Polshek Partnership Architects
Richard M. Olcott FAIA, Design Partner
James S. Polshek FAIA, Design Partner
Joseph L. Fleischer FAIA, Partner-in-Charge
Kevin P. McClurkan AIA, Project Manager

Owner's Representative:
Gary Eikenhorst

Design Partners:
Richard M. Olcott
James S. Polshek

Partner-in-Charge:

Joseph L. Fleischer

Project Managers:

Kevin P. McClurkan
Molly McGowan

Project Designer:

Kate Mann

Project Architects:

Megan Miller
Christen Johansen

Associate Architects:

Polk Stanley Rowland Curzon Porter Architects, Ltd.

Landscape Architect:

Hargreaves Associates

Client:

William J. Clinton Presidential Foundation

Last updated: December 19, 2013

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