George W. Bush Presidential Library Features Copper Alloys

George W. Bush Presidential Library Features Copper Alloys
19 Dec 2016

Travels with Larry: George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum

By Larry Peters, Copper Development Association Project Manager & Architectural Applications Specialist

Larry Peters

Upon suggestion from a colleague, I recently stopped by the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum while in Dallas, Texas.  It was my first time visiting a presidential library, and I’ve come to the conclusion that the Presidential Library concept is the United States National Archives and Records Administration’s way to “clean out the attic” after a president leaves office.  The libraries store millions of documents and gifts the president receives throughout his term when visiting other countries.

The George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum is located on the campus of Southern Methodist University (SMU), former First Lady Laura Bush’s alma mater.  In regards to the understated yet classical design of the library (by architect Robert A.M. Stern), Mrs. Bush told the Dallas Morning News, “We did not want this to be monumental like some other libraries are. We’re very aware that the presidents are men. They are people. We wanted it to be human in scale.”

The 226,000 square foot structure is designed to integrate into the SMU campus’s neoclassicism style, as well as to reflect Mrs. Bush’s very clear modern vision for the library. It was also the first Presidential Library to earn LEED certification, achieving LEED Platinum for New Construction from the USGBC.

There are a significant amount of copper alloy details incorporated in the library, contributing to its sustainability recognition, including the main entry doors, surrounding windows, some more visible interior doors, and balustrade/railings.  Much of the copper alloy is weathered into a rich medium/dark statuary “bronze” finish. However, some components such as the floor grates are left the natural tone of the copper alloy.


Bronze Interior Door and Floor Grates


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