'Home Court': Photos, video released of athletic and event facility at Obama Presidential Center

The Obama Foundation unveiled fresh insights Thursday, including updated visualizations and a 'fly through’ video, of the Home Court — an athletic and event facility at the Obama Presidential Center. 

Situated at the southwest corner of the 19.3-acre Obama Presidential Center in Jackson Park, the Home Court, the largest gathering space on the campus, is poised to host health and wellness activities, events and an array of community engagements.

Spanning 45,000 square feet, the multipurpose athletic and events space will feature a gymnasium with a regulation-size NBA court alongside practice courts, flexible seating arrangements, exercise training zones and state-of-the-art fitness equipment. 

From enriching basketball and sports programs to grand events and formal banquets, the Home Court accommodates a spectrum of activities. 

A mezzanine level offers elevated views and an expansive east-facing glass façade will provide panoramic views of the campus to the north.

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"From the outset, President Obama knew he wanted our Home Court to be a place where people could come for fun, inspiration, and learning – the kind of community spaces we need in an inclusive democracy," said Obama Foundation CEO Valerie Jarrett. "We intend for it to be an extraordinary resource to our community that will allow families to improve their health and wellness, and participate in educational and career readiness programming all in hopes of building a brighter, healthier future." 

Inspired by President Obama’s love for basketball and community engagement, the Home Court design features a sleek metal and glass panel exterior to be a metaphor for a basketball net and community connection.

Elevate Design Builders, a collaborative venture led by Bowa Construction, an African American-owned construction management firm based in Chicago on South Stony Island, alongside AECOM/Hunt, is spearheading the construction of the facility. Moody Nolan, the largest African American design firm in the United States, serves as the design partner for the Elevate Design Build team. 

"The Home Court will support the Center’s mission as a forum for community, connection, and civic engagement with a focus on promoting well-being – inspiring hope and improving lives for generations to come," said Renauld Deandre Mitchell, Partner and Director of Chicago Operations at Moody Nolan. "The process of architectural design embodies these values, for it is an act of hope – the outcome of which endures as a conversation between what is seen and how it is experienced. We at Moody Nolan are honored to partner with The Obama Foundation in this most important work!"

The facility also aligns with the Foundation’s sustainability goals, featuring a two-story lobby that bathes interior spaces in natural light and utilizes geothermal energy for heating and cooling.

The Home Court will be the first space within the Obama Presidential Center campus to open in late 2025, officials said.