[re]Stitch Tampa, a design challenge for Tampa’s downtown, to receive Tampa City Council commendation.
By Barbara Melendez
TAMPA, Fla. (June 6, 2012) – The University of South Florida competition for downtown design that attracted entries from around the world has earned one of the City of Tampa’s highest accolades.
[re]Stitch Tampa – a design challenge originated by USF Assistant Professor Shannon Bassett – has been nominated for a Tampa City Council Commendation. She will accept this award June 7 during a 9 a.m. council session being held at Old City Hall in the City Council Chambers, 315 E. Kennedy Blvd., third floor. The project was funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts.
“This is a tremendous honor that lets us know there’s an appreciation for efforts that bring Tampa into the global design marketplace,” said Bassett. “The competition and all of the events surrounding it gave our students exposure to some of the greatest designers at work today and a wonderful introduction to the top levels of the profession.”
An internationally-renowned jury chose three winners who hailed from three continents: Europe, Asia and North America.
The first of the three winners, Mola + Winkelmueller Architekten GmbH BDA with Pablo Benitez Adame and Miguel Prados Sanchez, submitted “Re-Stitch Re-sillience.” The second. “Stitches-Fabrics” was from Mumbai, India, Chris Webb +archyrsalis. And the final winner, from New York City, Group Han Associates-Michael Chaveriat, Yikyu Choe, Myung Kweon Park, entered “Flowscape.” All three presentations can be viewed at http://restitchtampa.org/ along with the other submissions.
“The three equal winners were comprehensive and really addressed the framework of the competition, re-thinking how the city could be re-connected to its river and how the river could be brought into the city through connective landscape and storm water infrastructure as place-making,” said Bassett.
She added that the honorable mentions had strong provocative ideas as well. “The global architectural and planning firm of Fannin+HOK Planning Group, titled ‘Shifting titled ‘Shifting Currents’ really impressed me. It proposed flooding Tampa into an island which was quite bold and captured the public's imagination.”
As an example of where open-idea competitions can lead, Bassett points to the High Line, a project she saw in New York City. This abandoned elevated rail line that runs through the city’s lower to middle West Side has been transformed into a park nearly a mile and a half in length.
“It all began with a design competition and similar proposals have shown up in Philadelphia and Chicago,” said Bassett, whose students have contributed design plans for Bradenton’s Riverwalk. “It’s very encouraging that our city is open and welcoming to new and original ideas.”
Barbara Melendez can be reached at 813-974-4563.