White House Redux
Pentagram Architects, 2008

When the US was in dire need of a centralized symbol to proclaim the unity of a nation, the White House made sense. As a symbol, the House expressed more hope than reality, but had the logic of a home. It separated public and private, was accessible yet defensible, and grand but not royal. It was symbolic of the hopes of the nation.

The White House is now an armed bunker and the President no longer a man, but a corporation of executives and departments, boards and chairs, running a global company. A unitary White House no longer expresses the true ethos or structure of the Executive branch any more than the flag expresses the real values of Americans. The Presidency is now a series of fragmented roles, not a singular concentration of power.

White House Redux gives form both to the nature of governance for the world’s largest corporation and to the shattered Presidency. It belongs to the people, the city and the world as an open and accessible campus. The new White House expresses not a fearful nation in retreat, but an open nation with the confidence and interest to engage all people, nations and ideas.