Design Competition Awards April 13

Competing designs for [re]stitch TAMPA on display at USF CAMLS and online; public can vote for “People’s Choice Award.”


By Barbara Melendez

USF News


TAMPA, Fla. (April 10, 2012) – The international ideas competition known as [re]stitch TAMPA – a quest to find the best way to redefine Tampa’s relationship with its river – is drawing to a close. Winners chosen by professional jurors and by the public will be announced at the awards ceremony April 13.


The main event takes place at the new University of South Florida CAMLS (Center for Advanced Medical Learning and Simulation) building in downtown Tampa, 124 S. Franklin Street.


The competitors, from 22 countries, were drawn from the ranks of architects, urban designers, landscape architects and planners as well as professional, seasoned, emergent and student designers. Competing designs are on display in two formats – on panels in the USF CAMLS lobby and online at – for the public to vote for the “People’s Choice Award.”


There will be three winners and five honorable mentions selected by a panel of world-renowned jurors celebrated for their work as architects, landscape urbanists and urban planners.


Among the local jurors is Ray Chiaramonte, head of the Hillsborough County Metropolitan Planning Organization, who is taking on the position of executive director of the Hillsborough County City Planning Commission. With him are City Councilwoman Lisa Montelione (District 7), architect and planner Laurie Potier-Brown from the City of Tampa Parks and Recreation Department and American Association of Landscape Architects (ASLA) Florida President Emily M. O'Mahoney.


Two days of festivities are planned around the announcement beginning with lectures on Friday at 3 p.m. by the noted experts who served as jurors, Juhani Pallasmaa, Charles Waldheim, Chris Reed, Chad Oppenheim and Margaret Crawford, in the CAMLS auditorium. This follows a water taxi tour of the Tampa River for the jurors. They will have as their guides City of Tampa Riverwalk Manager Lee Hoffman and USF Assistant Professor Shannon Bassett, the director of [re]stitch TAMPA.


A reception takes place at 5:30 p.m. in the CAMLS lobby. Mayor Bob Buckhorn joins the crowd for the announcement of the winners at 6:15 p.m. He will be accompanied by AECOM Design and Planning Principal Pete Sechler to discuss design schemes. Sechler is spearheading the development of a master plan for Tampa's urban core,


A keynote lecture by Pallasmaa from 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. concludes the day. 


“The jurors were looking for the kind of vision that would reveal the power of ecology and landscape infrastructure to inspire the people who live here and the city’s many visitors to get the most out of what this area can offer,” said Bassett, who is on the faculty of the USF School of Architecture and Community Design and a designer in her own right.


The celebration continues the next day with a community urban design workshop and presentations from 9 a.m. to noon.


From 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. there are lectures by Chiaramonte, Tom Levin, ASLA designer of the award-winning Florida Aquarium site design, Tampa Green Artery designer Lena Young, sustainability expert Jennifer Languell and Randy Goers, project manager and urban planning coordinator for the City of Tampa’s Community Planning Division. Goers serves as the project manager for the initiative to develop a master plan for Tampa's urban core. Languell will talk about sustainability as an economic engine for the city.


A review of what went into the selection process will be the subject of a panel discussion from 11 a.m. to noon, moderated by Bassett. 


“The City is using this as an opportunity to collect feedback from the community and public on which ideas they liked from the competition,” Bassett said. “This serves as an ‘envisioning’ process for the City and community to promote design excellence in the urban realm.”


At noon Hoffman will take a group on a tour of the Riverwalk. Space is limited to 28 people.  There will be a sign-up sheet at the events at CAMLS on Friday.


“We hope to get everyone thinking creatively and excited about what we can expect Tampa to look like and ultimately looking forward to what will be unfolding in the months and years to come.”


Launched Sept. 1, 2011, [re]stitch TAMPA was conceived by Bassett and she was awarded a National Endowment for the Arts Access to Design Excellence award to execute it.


“There will be an ensuing publication featuring essays from the world-renowned jurors, scholars and selected stakeholders,” she said. “The winning competition schemes and honorable mentions will be featured as well.”


For more information, visit  or contact Bassett at


Barbara Melendez can be reached at 813-974-4563.