Speaking of presidential matters, you’ll recall that last summer there was a bit of a mystery surrounding who would get the architectural commission for the George W. Bush Presidential Library and where exactly the building would be. But the speculation was short lived and soon everyone knew that it was Robert A.M. Stern who landed the gig and it would be placed at Southern Methodist University. Now, as a follow-up, Laura Bush has announced that they have selected a landscape architect to round out the team to design the new library. Michael Van Valkenburgh, design professor at Harvard and owner of a landscape firm that shares his own name, is the designer who landed the job and who will work with the rest of the team toward the goal of the library’s planned opening sometime in 2013. How did the Bush family choose Van Valkenburgh? Well, that one of his most high-profile projects include designing the Pennsylvania Avenue area in front of the White House probably had something to do with it.
“He has some really brilliant ideas that I think will make the landscape of the library really beautiful and a very welcoming space for students to come hang around the library on the outside, to study, and then we hope, really, to come to the — into the library, the museum, a lot,” Laura Bush said in an interview with the Dallas Morning News this month.