Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Community Window July/Aug 09 Newsletter

Community Window on the Hunters Point Shipyard Cleanup releases the July/August 2009 newsletter.


Original Issue Date: AUG09, for July/August 2009.
Duration: 8 pages AUG09_ArcNews.pdf

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Alternatives for Study Wins 2009 BSA Urban Design Award

Hunters Point Shipyard/Candlestick Point Alternatives for Study, produced by Arc Ecology + Bionic, wins 2009 BSA/AIA New York Chapter Urban Design Award.

Jurors’ Comments

This is the 22nd year the Boston Society of Architects (BSA) has administered this Urban Design Awards program, which has been co-sponsored by the AIA New York Chapter since 1999. This year we had the opportunity to review 28 submissions—nearly double the amount of entries submitted to the last round of this biennial program. For the first time, the redesigned awards program offered applicants submission in four categories—masterplanning, urban design, placemaking and time-limited installations—resulting in a wider range of entries and inclusion of smaller-scale projects.

The entries were comprised of proposed and completed projects around the globe and represented wideranging and divergent interpretations of urban design. There was a predominance of “mega planning” and parks projects. The influence of sustainable design practice was illustrated in many (perhaps most) of the submittals for the first time.

Specifically, we also agreed that submissions focused heavily on the process—at the expense of illuminating the vision. Jurors evaluating urban-design projects must rely heavily on contextual analysis and storytelling. We wanted to understand the problem that each plan meant to solve before considering whether the design represented a transformative urban intervention. Believing that urban design is not about an isolated design problem, we sought narratives that explored the project’s relationship to its context as a whole—including how it links to, engages and transforms its surroundings.

Hunters Point Shipyard/Candlestick Point Alternatives for Study in San Francisco
Designed by Bionic (San Francisco)

This study—essentially a critique from an open-space-planning perspective of the city’s existing plan to redevelop 770 acres and build a new football stadium—does not so much offer a definitive roadmap for the site as raise the relevant issues by putting the proposal under a community microscope. After numerous meetings with community stakeholders, a number of possibilities for the site arose, all of which could have a profound effect on the number of jobs that could be created, the relationship between housing and open space, environmental clean-up strategies and transit. The resulting advocacy piece reinvigorated the public debate about letting the stadium—a land use that is active merely 12 days a year— dominate the plan that the community is relying on to improve their quality of life. We tip our caps to this process for amplifying the important role that urban design can play in opening a dialogue within communities about transformative land use and development decisions.

Jury comments [.pdf]

more about Boston Society of Architects Design Awards

Alternatives for Study

download Alternatives for Study [.pdf]