For the first time in a half century, the National Park Service is revisiting one of the world's most iconic monuments – The Gateway Arch – to integrate the magnificent memorial and its grounds with St. Louis, the Mississippi River and Illinois on the other side. They've announced a new international design competition, calling on the world's best designers and architects. The competition starts now.
This story begins in September 1947, when a national design competition was held to produce a memorial to Thomas Jefferson's Louisiana Purchase and the era of American Westward Expansion. The jury chose the most audacious entry – a gleaming 630-foot stainless steel arch, the first of several masterpieces by the gifted but short-lived Eero Saarinen.
Completed in 1965, the Gateway Arch instantly became an international destination and won immediate recognition as one of the world’s premiere works of public art.
Time has been kind to the Arch, which still astonishes with its boldness and beauty. The grounds immediately surrounding it, designed by the late Dan Kiley, are also widely regarded as a masterpiece. But the site has become a kind of island – severed and isolated from the rest of the city – on its west, north, and south – and from the Mississippi River and points east.
Now, in the spirit of Saarinen, new inspiration is being sought. A call has been issued in accordance with a new General Management Plan by the National Park Service to better “frame” this American masterpiece. The goals: weave it back into the fabric of the city and the region ? rejuvenate connections ? welcome and draw people for repeated visits ? and re-energize the region for living, working and visiting. As in 1947, this competition aims to invite and extract “the best from the best” to create a model for integrating open space into a city’s urban fabric. All with a construction finish line of October 28, 2015 ? the 50th anniversary of the completion of the Arch.
The competition is a three-stage process. The three stages are (1) portfolio evaluations to select 8-10 potential design teams, (2) team interviews to narrow the field to 4-5 potential design teams, and (3) a design competition to select a design and team to execute that design.
A national solicitation for interested designers will be published. For Stage I, submissions are required to identify a team of designers and lead designer, and submit a portfolio of recently completed work by each member of the design team. The required portfolio submission would include a brief description of the design team, a statement of design intent and philosophy by the lead designer, a profile of the design team and examples of their work.
Based on an evaluation of the portfolios, a short-list of 8-10 design teams will be selected to participate in Stage II. In this stage, the design teams must form complete design teams capable of executing the project. The teams submit a Federal Standard Form 330 for evaluation and participate in an interview with the Jury. The SF 330 details the team’s qualifications and requires a thorough description of the proposed team, resumes of key personnel, and example projects. The subsequent interview entails a presentation by key members of the design team followed by a discussion with the Jury structured to address specific project criteria.
After the interview, the Jury will select 4-5 design teams to participate in a 90-day design concept competition to explore their design approach and test their working methodology. The design team must create and submit a design concept for the project responding to specific criteria that will provide insight into the designer’s approach as well as clarification of program, site, and technical requirements for the project.
The result of the competition is a design and a capable design team. The design concepts submitted are assumed to be an appropriate point of beginning for the project once the design and the design Team are selected. As design criteria may evolve from the competition process, it is assumed the selected design concept will evolve as more detailed design continues.
Final selection of the successful design team is based wholly on the submitted design concepts. It is assumed that all the design teams selected to participate in Stage III are fully capable of executing the project effectively and it is their visions of the project that separates them.
Register by: 01-26-2010 / Submit by: 01-28-2010