The Bush Library Contest: ‘It Floats on Fountains!’

Bush Library Entry
A detail from one of the latest entries in the Back-of-the-Envelope Bush Library Design Contest. To see the full version of this entry, click here.

Contrary to what some might think — notably commenter No. 5 on this post — the Back-of-the-Envelope Bush Library Design Contest was not conceived as an opportunity to slam George W. Bush. In fact, from the beginning we have asked for designs that are “serious, humorous, adventurous, or all of the above.”

Yes, for some strange reason, we have received quite a few satirical designs.

But we have also had several serious ones. The design above, by a fellow from Dallas, is rather respectful and inspired. The cube that contains the library is suspended over a lagoon. Visitors enter on one side of the lagoon, pass through an underground (and under-lagoon) portion of the building to get to the center, where they can ascend into the cube. Water runs down from the cube, giving the illusion, as the designer put it, that “it floats on fountains!”

Of course, the many Bush critics who sent us bunker-style libraries might be inclined to see the lagoon as a moat; we prefer to think of it as merely an attractive water feature.

We want to see more inspired designs like this. There is no budget to limit ambition, no building codes to constrain imagination. The best design, as judged by our readers, could win an iPod Touch. Here are the rules.

Postmark those envelopes by February 1. You have one week.

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