The AIA Institute Honor Awards for Regional and Urban Design, which are intended to showcase the larger role architects have in city and regional planning efforts, include the transformation of a brownfield site (Pearl Brewery Redevelopment), a form-based zoning code (Miami 21), and a main street revitalization project (Little Rock, Ark.'s Creative Corridor).
For more on each project from our ARCHITECT Project Gallery, click the link on the project name.
The Creative Corridor: A Main Street Revitalization for Little Rock, Little Rock, Ark.
University of Arkansas Community Design Center, Fayetteville, Ark., and Marlon Blackwell Architect, Fayetteville, Ark.
Architect: “Little Rock has taken the first steps in reclaiming its Main Street as a great public space once again by restoring non-traffic social functions to the street. Though downtown living everywhere has enjoyed a comeback, cities like Little Rock in particular teach us that the urban street can be an indispensable tool for creating value. The Creative Corridor connects the dots between arts, economy, and ecology towards synthetic models of livability and placemaking that only cities can offer.” —Stephen Luoni, Assoc. AIA, director, University of Arkansas Community Design Center
Jury: “The Creative Corridor plan proposes to create a Main Street that is to America what the piazza was to Italy.”
Son Tra Peninsula Strategic Vision Plan, Da Nang, Vietnam
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, Chicago
Architect: “The city of Da Nang’s Department of Construction wanted a macro-scale development plan—residential properties and resort hotels—for this lush, mountainous peninsula that’s the backdrop to the city. We realized, through 3D modeling of the topography, that the best places to build were in the valleys, not the peaks and promontories, so we wouldn’t obscure the beautiful landscape.” —Daniel Ringelstein, director of urban design and planning, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill’s London office
Jury: “The plan reflects deep appreciation for the area’s considerable natural assets and provides well-crafted strategies to ensure their preservation for generations to come.”
Architect: “We wanted an iconic and monumental space for the train hall, complemented by simple-yet-elegant pavilions and canopies—in short, a vibrant public space in the heart of a great American city.” —Kristopher Takacs, AIA, Denver Union Station project manager, Skidmore, Owings & Merrill
Jury: “The architecture of the commuter train hall canopy provides an iconic focal point and makes a strong civic statement, yet its contemporary design doesn’t upstage the historic station.”
The East River Blueway Plan, New York
WXY Architecture + Urban Design, New York
Client: “The East River is a wonderful ocean strait, but because of the seawall it’s very hard to access the water, to touch it. We simply wanted to give people a better way to access the water, and we wanted trees and green space and other aesthetic transitions pointing the way.” —Christine Datz-Romero, co-founder and executive director, Lower East Side Ecology Center
Jury: “The Blueway Plan is a true model for resiliency; it provides a vision of an accessible and dynamic waterfront yet it also addresses the urgent issue of climate change and its effects.”
Miami 21: A New Zoning Code for the City, Miami
Duany Plater-Zyberk & Co., Miami
Architect: “Through the vision of Mayor Diaz in Miami, the city embarked on an unprecedented mission: to overhaul their zoning code to create more sustainable, predictable, and efficient regulations through the adoption of a SmartCode called Miami21, which entailed a holistic approach to land-use planning.” —Marina Khoury, partner, Duany Plater-Zyberk & Co.
Jury: “This project went beyond crafting a vision—in fact, it developed a tool. Other cities will have to address zoning issues in the future, and this plan will serve as an invaluable precedent.”
Pearl Brewery Redevelopment Master Plan, San Antonio
Lake|Flato Architects, San Antonio
Architect: “Not long ago, no one was coming to this part of San Antonio, so our greatest challenge was to create a destination. We aimed to animate the site by repurposing 250,000 square feet of historic buildings into a self-supporting district, a sustainable village grounded in the culinary arts and integrated with the riverfront.” —David Lake, FAIA, partner, Lake|Flato Architects
Jury: “This project has served as a catalyst for green urban revitalization in a long-neglected portion of San Antonio’s inner city.”