Water Street design contest winners!
The results are in for the City sponsored design contest for the Water Street parking lots, and here they are, courtesy of the Charlottesville Community Design Center:
First Place: Little, Charlotte, NC
Team Members: Bo Sun, Michael Baujan, Chad Lukenbaugh, Ryan Fujita
Jury Comments: Of all the submissions, this design emerged almost immediately to the jury as the winner. The jury felt the design did a good job of addressing the massing of the buildings, balancing the need for density to meet the financial expectations of the project with the existing scale of the surrounding buildings, while also providing good solar access for interior spaces and a strong streetwall on Water Street. The jury also favored the treatment of the civic space and City Market, feeling that it was complementary to Charlottesville's downtown pedestrian mall, without trying to replicate it. As juror David Baker said, "This would create an exciting space on First Street. I can imagine people meandering through the site, especially on market days."
Second Place: James Huemoeller + David Malda, Charlottesville, VA
Team Members: James Huemoeller, David Malda
Jury Comments: This design breaks the buildings into a finer grained architecture that the jury felt was an excellent response to the existing scale of the surrounding buildings. While this design may not be as financially realistic as other submissions, the density offered in this scheme is probably close to that preferred by the general public. The inclusion of a mid-size (30,000 square feet) grocery store in the concept, while difficult to bring to reality, is a nice effort to bring this much needed amenity to downtown Charlottesville. The treatment of the varied topography of the site is also a strong point of this design, including the clever pedestrian bridge that crosses First Street as an alternate entrance to the grocery.
Third Place: Speranza Architecture, Barcelona, Spain
Team Members: Philip Speranza, Kathryn Hilton, James Middlebrook
Jury Comments: This unique submission allows for diagonal movements across the site that is a playful alternative to the traditional city street grid. The ambitious site plan and organic quality to the architecture stood out to the jury as an attempt to create a special destination that would be a place to stop, not to travel through. As juror Brian Hogg noted, "It is a modern piazza that would be a pleasant surprise to a first time visitor."
Honorable Mention: James Dayton Design, Minneapolis, MN
Team Members: James G. Dayton, Angela Varpness, Jenna Quirk, Scott Elofson, Patrick Regan
Jury Comments: This scheme revealed the possible benefits of taller and thinner buildings as opposed to the current restrictions in Charlottesville's zoning code. Its slightly industrial architecture is appropriate for the Water St. location. It also offers numerous building types that respond well to the surrounding context, from the more massive east side of the site to the smaller, older buildings on the west side.
Honorable Mention: The Folsom Group LLC, Charlottesville, VA
Team Members: Jim Duxbury, Richard Price, AIA
Jury Comments: This concept offers a rational approach by moving the major buildings to the four corners of the site and would ease the transition between the mall, Water St. and across the tracks. The team's description of how the development of the site could be built by various developers and architects in multiple phases showed a strong grounding in reality. As juror Jair Lynch commented, "This is a scheme that could probably be built." The jury also appreciated the strong Second Street East corridor, which could be a catalyst for further development across the railroad tracks. While some questioned placing the taller buildings on South Street, it was agreed that this would give spectacular views to the south-facing residential units in these buildings.
People's Choice Winner: Little Rhino Studio, Charlottesville, VA
Team Members: Bob Anderson, AIA, Lindsay Howe, Kris Huisinga, Dustin McCracken, Shiho Nishiyama, Julie Ulrich
"Provides a great balance between civic and residential/retail space."
"I like the fact that the design is practical and welcoming, but retains a "Charlottesville-type" feel."
"This is the most complete project that is a perfect fit for the city of Charlottesville."
"Great cohesion of history, conservation and productivity to bring to the area."
"I love how much this project takes Charlottesville's history and the environment into account."