The Competition is Now Closed!
Congratulations to this year’s winner: The Forum Studio – St. Louis, Missouri
Click here to see the winning submission.
Over 150 people attended the 2013 Green Spaces forum and exposition. The jury chose “Better Way” from the The Forum Studio as this year’s winner! Thanks to everyone who participated in the competition this year – we will keep you updated as progress moves forward on any redevelopment of Kanawha Plaza.
Below is a time-lapse video showing the use of Kanawha Plaza:
Discovering the Role of Kanawha Plaza in Modern Richmond
Throughout its history, Kanawha Plaza has played an ambiguous role in Richmond’s urban fabric. This competition proposes that, beyond all of its past and present uses, Kanawha Plaza can be the key facilitator to Richmond’s public discourse. Competitors are challenged to design a small-scale intervention on the site that negotiates between users, amplifies intentions, and directs dialogue. Be it musical performances, protests, small-scale interactions between individuals, or something else entirely; what is the program that supports these goals and what intervention creates the appropriate space for their realization?
- Entries will address the City of Richmond’s 2013 plans to restore Kanawha Plaza to its original 1970’s-era design and character. How can this small-scale intervention be sensitive to this endeavor and place value in the existing, and restored, conditions?
- Entries will propose creative ideas and concepts to improve the Plaza’s role as a destination for different users, for example – downtown workers and residents, recreational users, event attendees, tourists, etc.
- Entries will address the visibility of the Plaza at a range of scales and elevations.
- Entries will debate whether the measure of the Plaza’s success is based on quantity of users, type of use, or other.
- The plaza was originally designed by Zion & Breen in the 1970’s.
- Covering two full city blocks, the plaza was originally designed as both an iconic plaza, and to provide a place of refuge. Roughly two thirds of the site is occupied by green space.
- The plaza sits in the center of one of Richmond’s densest urban areas. It is faced on all sides my mid and high rise buildings, and is equally surrounded multiple lanes of roads. A single pedestrian bridge connects the park to the urban pedestrian grid. The southern half of the site is built on top of interstate 195.
- The plaza is one block from the James River, and sits between the historic canal walk and Brown’s Island.
- The northeast corner of the plaza sits on what was once Richmond’s turning basin, a large multi-block body of water used to allow canal boats to turn around. In the 1970’s, a site that was designed and built to be both urban park and urban plaza.
- Throughout its history, the site has served as a pedestrian path and lunch time destination for employees of the surrounding skyscrapers. The site has also played host to music concerts and public events.
- In 2011 and 2012, the site served as a springboard for the Occupy movement, at the direction of the City of Richmond, during protests related to the global financial system.
|We’ve put together some helpful information and documents to make your research easier! Check out aerial imagery, plans, photos and other helpful documents on the Kanawha Plaza site.||Browse & Download 2013 Site Info →|
- Required: Entries will be on (1) 36” x 48” board – horizontally oriented.
- To be printed on paper – not mounted on foam core – and submitted digitally, as a 200 dpi (minimum) PDF file, to the JRGBC on flash drive or CD.
- Required: A (400) word (maximum) narrative describing intentions, concepts, and strategies.
- To be included, as a Microsoft Word document, in the digital deliverable mailed to the JRGBC on flash drive or CD.
- Optional: A built piece up to 18” square and 36” tall.
To be shipped to the JRGBC:
2415 Westwood Avenue, Suite B.
Richmond, VA 23230
None of the above items will be returned to the competition entrants.
Entries will be judged by a local jury consisting of designers, artists, and civic leaders. The entry that best addresses the four points in the Considerations & Context Section will be awarded a cash prize of $500, and the winning entrant will be afforded the opportunity to speak about their design at the exhibition and forum event on May 3rd at Middle of Broad + Storefront, 205 E Broad Street, Richmond, VA 23219.
Read about this year’s Jury below:
|Parker Agelasto, Councilman, Richmond City Council 5th District|
|This is the first elected term for The Honorable Parker Camp Agelasto, Councilman, Richmond City Council Central 5th Voter District. A native of Virginia, Mr. Agelasto is a freelance museum consultant and curator as well as adjunct faculty with UVA teaching entrepreneurship in communities with high unemployment and poverty. He formerly worked at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington DC and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond. Councilman Agelasto earned his Bachelor of Arts from Bates College, Master of Arts in Art History from the University of Virginia as well as his M.B.A. from the Darden School of Business also at UVA.|
|Jim Hill, Principal Planner, Richmond City Department of Planning & Development Review|
|Jim Hill is the Principal Planner for comprehensive planning and historic preservation in the City of Richmond’s Department of Planning and Development Review. He has a Master’s degree in landscape architecture from the University of Virginia and is licensed to practice in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Prior to coming to work for the City he was the National Register Coordinator and a project reviewer for the Virginia Department of Historic Resources. At the City he has served previously as a Neighborhood Planner, Grants Administrator, and as Secretary to the Commission of Architectural Review. As Principal Planner he has been responsible for coordinating the development of the Hull Street Corridor Revitalization Plan and the Richmond Riverfront Plan.|
|Alexander Kitchin, Owner, Fine Concrete by elbwrm|
|A leading designer in fine concrete with over 18 years of research and fabrication in the material, Alexander Kitchin received his undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia and his master’s degree from Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc). Alexander won the prestigious Rome Prize and spent a year in Italy as a Fellow in Architecture at the American Academy in Rome. He also received a Graham Foundation grant for his investigation into design and research in concrete. After returning to Charlottesville, he founded Prettyhard, a design studio focused on the production of concrete furnishings. As owner of Prettyhard, he translated his research into the investigation of the timeless and intimate relationships between materials, spaces and people.Currently adjunct faculty at the University of Virginia School of Architecture, Alexander teaches a design process that investigates the character inherent in materials and how the process of making informs the spaces we design. His research has always included a hands-on approach to architecture through the active fabrication shop. He has taught, visited and lectured at schools across the country and abroad in architectural design, fabrication, theory, and photography.|
|Lynn McAteer, Planning & Special Projects Consultant, Better Housing Coalition|
|Lynn McAteer has been a member of Better Housing Coalition senior management team for twelve years. She holds a Master’s degrees in Regional & Urban Planning and Public Administration. Lynn was formerly the Vice President of Family and Children’s Service and has extensive experience in fundraising and strategic planning. At Better Housing Coalition she is responsible for the overall planning functions of prospective community development projects, she is a member of the development team that is responsible the pre-development/pre-construction phase of BHC’s projects, and she is also responsible for identifying public and private funding sources for prospective developments. Lynn currently serves as a member of the City of Richmond’s Planning Commission.|
|James Robertson, Sculptor / Conservation Technician|
|James Robertson has spent his career developing a vocabulary of historic and modern sculpting materials and techniques through objects and architecture conservation for public institutions and private clients. As a sculptor, Mr. Robertson applies that vocabulary to the creation of original artworks in his Richmond, Virginia studio.|
|Kennon Williams, Landscape Architect, Kennon Williams Landscape Studio & Greening Urban|
|Kennon Williams has worked in the field of landscape and urban design since 1996 with a particular focus on the integration of site design, aesthetics, and environmental responsibility and has lectured and served on state and national panels related to these topics. Prior to starting his own firm in Charlottesville 2 years ago, he worked at several firms noted for their commitment to design excellence and environmental responsibility including Wenk Associates, Biohabitats, and Nelson Byrd Woltz (NBW).He has led a wide range of award winning landscape projects in this country and abroad that have integrated civic design and sustainable principles including such as the new town of WaterColor, Florida; Park 20/20 in the Netherlands, the first large scale, mixed use project to utilize the principles of Cradle to Cradle sustainable technology; and Reston Heights, a LEED for Neighborhood Development Pilot Project. Some of these projects are in historic areas and have been recognized for innovative combinations of context sensitive design and environmental stewardship such as The Dell at the University of Virginia (with NBW), and the Riverfront Park and Downtown Revitalization in Lynchburg, Virginia.
Kennon Williams Landscape Studio is a Partner with Greening Urban, based in Richmond and Washington, that provides sustainable civil engineering and green site design consulting.
The entries will be displayed at the public forum event and competitors are encouraged to attend.
On this night, we will play host to the competitors, jurors, and interested public in a casual atmosphere with food, drink, and music. Attendees will have the opportunity to see the entries, hear juror comments, and engage in lively debate with Richmond’s design and civic community
- Competition Kick-Off: February 7th, 6:00pm at CRT/Tanaka.
- Competition Registration: Open from February 7th to April 8th.
The Competition is now closed.
- Submission Deadline: April 8th – Read the submission requirements in the Submission and Format tab
- Community Forum Event: May 3rd, 2013 at MoB + Storefront for Community Design during First Fridays Art Walk
Changing Mayo Island with the 2015 Bike Championship
The 2012 Green Spaces Design Competition: “Breaking Away,” addressed Richmond’s Mayo Island and 14th Street Bridge, which serve as both significant transitions and destinations. Using Richmond’s recent win to host the 2015 Road World Championship cycling races, competition entrants are asked to propose economically, culturally and environmentally responsible tourism and recreation-based solutions for Mayo Island that critically examine the lasting impact of the 2015 Road World Championships and the role Mayo Island plays in Richmond’s past, present and future.
These races are expected to bring nearly 500,000 visitors and an estimated $135 million in revenue to the Commonwealth of Virginia. As seen in other host-cities, large scale events can lead to disposable buildings and post-event dead zones in the urban environment. How can Mayo Island capitalize on the existing success of the James River Park System trails, adjacency to Richmond’s urban centers, and the revenue and attendance from the 2015 Road World Championships to create an accessible, recreational and sustainable space for Richmonders and visitors?
Read about the 2012 Panel and Judges and see some of the solutions proposed by clicking through the tabs above.
|Frank Harmon FAIA, Forum Moderator
Frank was born in Georgia and educated at the Architectural Association in London. From 1970 to 1973 he was an associate of Richard Meier Architect in New York City, together with Henry Smith-Miller and Tod Williams. He has taught at the Architectural Association, Auburn University and NC State University, where he currently holds a practical appointment in the College of Design. In 1981 Harmon founded his own firm, Frank Harmon Architect in Raleigh, N. C. The work of his firm has been published in Architectural Record, Architectural Design and numerous other periodicals and books. Time magazine selected his Utility Storage Building for the Rake and Hoe Garden Center as one of the Ten Best Designs of 1988. Since 1992 Harmon’s six-person firm has won more AIA Design Awards than any firm in North Carolina. In 1995 he was awarded the Kamphoefner Prize for innovative modern design over a 10-year period. Harmon writes a column on architecture, landscape and design for the Independent newspaper. He teaches “Experiencing Architecture” to four hundred undergraduates each year, introducing the principles of architecture to the engineers, business people and teachers who will be the future clients of architecture.
|Jakob Helmboldt, AICP
Jakob Helmboldt is the Pedestrian, Bicycle and Trails Coordinator for the City of Richmond. Mr. Helmboldt is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners and has worked as a planner in environmental, transit, and transportation planning, and specializes in bicycle and pedestrian transportation and safety. Mr. Helmboldt has worked for state and local government as well as in the private sector as a consultant working on bike and pedestrian projects for local, state and federal government clients. Mr. Helmboldt has been a cyclist for 30+ years, riding for transportation, recreation and competitively.
|Mark Olinger, AICP
Mark A. Olinger is the Director of the Department of Planning and Development Review for the City of Richmond. Mr. Olinger joined the City in September 2011. As Director, Mr. Olinger leads an organization of over 100 staff dedicated to creating and maintaining a high quality of life for Richmond’s citizens, businesses, and visitors. Believing that the best environmental policy is a sound and inclusive urban policy, Mr. Olinger has spent the past 30 years in local government focused on strategic visioning, comprehensive neighborhood revitalization implementation, urban design, development finance, and economic development. Projects in which Mr. Olinger have been involved have won awards at the local, regional and national levels, but he’s equally proud of helping people move into their first home, improve their business, or reclaim open space for parks. Mr. Olinger is a member of both the national and Virginia Chapters of the American Planning Association.
|Noted designer and Managing Principal of 3north, Jay Hugo oversees important master planning and design assignments for the firm supported by his professional training as an architect, landscape architect, and interior designer. His buildings and landscapes have been featured in the regional and national press and have been recognized by numerous award programs. Often drawing on concepts from nature, his work focuses on signature place-making, and in particular, what he calls “Threshold Spaces” – those dynamic places that bridge between structure and the surrounding environment.|
|Mary Harding Sadler
Mary Harding Sadler is an historical architect and principal with Sadler & Whitehead Architects, PLC, a small business she formed with husband Camden Whitehead in 1997. She serves historic property owners, architects, and engineers as a historic preservation consultant. Mimi received her undergraduate degree in Art History from Williams College and her Masters Degree in Architecture from the University of Virginia. She is the chairman of Richmond’s Commission of Architectural Review and serves on the Board of the Storefront for Community Design.
Greg is the Chair of the “Falls of the James” Scenic River Advisory Committee. Appointed to this committee in 2002 by then Governor Mark Warner, Greg has advised on issues pertaining to development, preservation and recreation on the James River and its environs encompassed within the Richmond City limits. This appointment came about as a result of his extensive knowledge and involvement in river related projects and activities. Greg received a BS in Psychology from Virginia Tech with a Minor in Biology. Since 1997, Greg has held the position of Sr. Recreation Programmer with Chesterfield County specializing in outdoor activities with a focus in paddle sports programs. Since the late 1970s, Greg has been intimately involved in recreational, environmental and public education opportunities pertaining to the James River. He is active in numerous James River related organizations (Former President and current Vice-President of the James River Outdoor Coalition, Honorary Trustee of the Friends of the James River Park, Former Board Member of Coastal Canoeists, Council Member of the James River Advisory Council) with a focus on promoting user input to steer future growth and progress of the James River resources. He is also a certified Level 4 Canoe, Level 4 Kayak and Swiftwater Safety Instructor, and has consulted for various local River Rescue squads.
“REconnecting to the LANDING”
In addition to a design challenge, Green Spaces also includes a youth portion and workshop. The 2012 Green Spaces Elementary Art Exhibition workshop was held at the Children’s Museum of Richmond in April, during the elementary school spring breaks. We were proud to collaborate with such a wonderful group that provides a place for all young children to engage in educational and fun activities through hands-on learning, art and literacy development!
The 2012 Elementary Exhibition focused on sustainable transportation concepts. The workshop challenged children to develop art projects related to this theme. The Museum graciously offered their art studio and its supplies which include re-purposed materials that would otherwise be in the garbage. You can read the 2012 Challenge below.
2012 Elementary Art Exhibition Challenge
When you ride in a car it needs gas in order to drive. Gas is a fossil fuel and for your car to operate it must burn that fossil fuel. Fossil fuels, when burned, create pollution that enters the atmosphere, which is bad for the environment. Create a picture of how you could travel around Richmond without using any fossil fuels. How would you get from place to place, on a form of transportation powered by you or a renewable energy source? (solar, wind, etc.) Use you imagination! You can help the planet by choosing new ways to get around that will minimize your negative impact and instead, create a positive impact.
A Southern Approach to Richmond
In 1910, the City of Manchester became Virginia’s first “Lost City” when it was incorporated into Richmond. Since then, what is now the Manchester neighborhood has struggled to create a new and accurate identity that reflects its history as well as its current residents and potential. Today the historic neighborhood of Manchester serves as Richmond’s main point of entry from the south. Is Manchester a Place or a Gateway? Can it be both? How is a Gateway sustainable as a Place?
The recognizably industrial Manchester Richmond neighborhood is currently experiencing a shift towards mixed-use development with apartments, condominiums, art galleries, boutique industries, offices and restaurants. The 2011 Green Spaces competition looked specifically at “Old Manchester”, challenging participants to use sustainable design principles in creating a GREEN GATEWAY to Richmond. Proposed solutions and strategies needed to address the unique cultural, economic and environmental opportunities specific to Richmond’s Manchester neighborhood and the City of Richmond. The 2011 competition challenge was part one of a two-part/two-year competition. As Green Spaces 2011 focused on “Old Manchester”, Green Spaces 2012 focused on issues facing Mayo Island and the 14th Street Bridge.
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