Shaping the New American Riverfront: A Competition for Memphis

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Shaping the New American Riverfront: A Competition for Memphis

Postby Paul Clerkin » Fri Jan 17, 2003 12:29 pm

City of Memphis, AIA Memphis, Riverfront Development Corp.

The Riverfront Development Corporation in Memphis is seeking design visions for the first major project - at the foot of Historic Beale Street - in a comprehensive reshaping of the city's Mississippi riverfront. This first project is named Beale Street Landing.

The first stage of the competition is open to all. Five winners from stage one will be awarded cash prizes to develop their ideas during an invited second stage. It is RDC's intention to select a design team from the second stage to develop their proposal for implementation.

The project site is both physically and culturally complex. A twenty-five-foot bluff rises from a once busy commercial harbor to the old downtown, which, like many American waterfront cities, historically turned its back on the mighty river that was its lifeblood. A new master plan, developed by Cooper Robertson & Partners, will connect the city to the river. "Shaping the New American Riverfront" initiates the first major riverfront improvement and sets the tone for future development.

The program calls for the design of a five-acre, waterfront public space celebrating Beale Street's termination at the Mississippi River. We expect competitors to resolve the many functional challenges of the site-the shifting landscape of a fluctuating Mississippi River, the bluff that separates the city fabric from the riverfront, the need for modern docking facilities. The winning proposal must go further, capturing the unique qualities of the setting and bringing new vision and heightened aspiration to the development of Memphis' built environment.

To this end, we encourage entrants to develop visions that are strong enough to refocus the design dialogue in Memphis onto the riverfront, a grand landscape on which the city has historically turned its back. Designs that activate the waterfront, extend its use (day and night), and develop an authentic and potentially iconic response to the site will best meet the goals of the sponsors and the expectations of the community.

A $50,000 Prize Fund has been established. Each of up to five Finalists chosen to proceed to Stage Two will receive an award of $2500 plus a $7500 stipend for the Stage Two work. The winner of Stage Two will be awarded the right to negotiate a contract for professional services to design the project.

Type: Open, two-stage
Registration Deadline: April 23, 2003
Submission Deadline: April 23, 2003
Open to: All
Entry Fee: US$75 (US$35 students)
Awards: See below
Jury: Toni L. Griffin, William Morrish, Stanley Saitowitz and Martha Schwartz

For more information or to register, contact: David Meckel, FAIA
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Paul Clerkin
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