“Studio Gang … that’s a cool name, isn’t it?” President Bill Clinton praised the Chicago-based architecture firm’s name at a press meeting last October on Studio Gang’s design for the new Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts. Several months later, the former POTUS and Studio Gang’s paths have crossed once again.
On August 8, the Clinton Foundation announced preliminary plans to expand the William J. Clinton Presidential Center in Little Rock, Arkansas, completed in 2004 by Ennead Architects. Studio Gang was hired to add space to the Clinton Presidential Center for additional flex uses and educational programming. The renovation will also feature a new facility to host the Hillary Rodham Clinton Institute, a new building that will house the former First Lady and presidential candidate’s personal archives and a workspace for her nonprofit and advocacy work. Little Rock–based firm Polk Stanley Wilcox will be the architects of record.
“The proposed expansion will help the Clinton Center fulfill its mission to engage and educate people about President Clinton’s lifetime commitment to advancing opportunity for everybody, instilling responsibility throughout our society, and cultivating a shared sense of community,” a press release from Studio Gang stated. “The project will enhance the Clinton Center’s ability to host exhibitions, convene global leaders, and provide educational opportunities. The expansion will also include the new Hillary Rodham Clinton Institute that will hold her personal archives and papers and serve as a hub for her nonprofit and advocacy work.”
Since its 2004 opening, the Clinton Presidential Library has welcomed over 500,000 visitors. It’s hosted symposia that champion gender equality such as the 2022 Women’s Voices Summit and 2019 Domestic Economic Policy Conference. A staple of tourism, the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce noted in 2014 that the Presidential Library has garnered $3.3 billion for the local economy.
“The Clinton Presidential Center was built to set a new standard for environmental performance,” Studio Gang’s founding partner Jeanne Gang said, commenting on Ennead’s original design which was one of the first LEED-certified buildings in Arkansas. “We are excited to be working with the Clinton Foundation to advance that legacy, while also strengthening the Clinton Center’s role as a welcoming hub for cultivating a new generation of global leaders.”
The Clinton Presidential Center will unveil more details and visuals of the expansion sometime in 2024.