The Irish Hill Neighborhood Association invites urban designers, architects, landscape architects, and artists to envision the future of a 30-acre post-industrial site in Louisville, Kentucky. Mediative Urbanisms is an international open ideas competition created to encourage critical design approaches and public debate around a potentially vital zone in the landscape of Louisville.
Development processes often evolve and proceed with little direct feedback or interest within the public realm, immediate or otherwise. The IHNA seeks to foster a continued discussion of this site’s potential by inviting the input of designers world wide to help drive the process through a public display and evaluation of concepts.
The project site, located just east of the city center, is bisected by the lower middle fork of Beargrass Creek near its convergence with the South Fork. Historically inhabited by distilleries and most recently by River Metals (a scrap metal and recycling yard), the site is currently both a brownfield in need of rehab as well as a potential ecological jewel in the urban landscape of the city. The site poses further challenges as an urban design problem due to its unique configuration, adjacencies to various neighborhoods and present boundary conditions.
Because this is an open ideas competition, each entry will be expected to interpret programmatic need within the given urban context. This allows participants great freedom in applying their unique vision to the project. With this freedom comes the additional responsibility of imagining the site’s potential role in the daily life of the city. Of particular concern in this competition/exhibition is to provide an expanded idea of the site’s possibilities for public consideration. At minimum, each entry should include specific attention to three program elements. First, entries will examine the potential for the Lexington Road corridor to become a mixed-use zone accommodating pedestrian and bicycle traffic. Second, entries will provide a bus hub capable of accommodating the confluence of three separate routes with adequate waiting areas for riders. Third, entries will provide ample pedestrian/bicycle access between the north and south edges of the site. The site is bordered to the north by an operating railway, which currently isolates the area from the Butchertown and Downtown neighborhoods, minimizing its commercial potential.
City residents would like the area to be developed into a long-lasting, pedestrian friendly zone that connects the adjoining neighborhoods with daily-use programs linked to the communal and ecological health of the city. As indicated in a survey of area residents, the most desired program is a neighborhood market, due to the lack of grocery stores and produce markets in the immediate area. The survey further indicates support for programs including light industrial shops, medical clinics, small-scale educational facilities, park space, high-rise residential construction, patio-style dwellings, small-scale commercial spaces, greenhouses for food production and a farmer’s market. Participants are encouraged to couple innovative strategies for ecologically-driven design with and urban strategy that fuses the currently isolated site into the larger urban context while preserving adjacent residential properties.
Announcement: July 15, 2009
Registration period: July 15, 2009-September 15, 2009
Submission Deadline: October 5, 2009
Exhibition/Jury: October 15, 2009