Jury Summary – Alex Krieger, Jury Chair – 1 May 2010
The Jury for the 2010 Steedman Travelling Fellowship Competition is pleased to award the 2010 Steedman Fellowhip to Nevena Krillic of Toronto, Ontario, Canada for a proposal entitled “Urban Armada: Anchor & Transform.” Among the many impressive qualities of this proposal is the careful analysis of the banks of the Mississippi River and the identification of five strategic places along the river to establish expanded engagement with the river. These places of interaction, ranging from a re-naturalized bank condition near the confluence to a heightened urbanized condition at the base of the Arch, are then supported by a flotilla of fifteen ‘architectural’ barges, each containing a unique program, that assemble in groups of three or as entire ‘armada’ in support of events at these special places. This barge armada, no longer for the purpose of ferrying goods, now serves to energize the urbanized area of the river ferrying citizens from place to place and across the river.
The jury was impressed with the overall quality of the submissions, concluding that a number of the submissions were exemplary, especially given the ambitious nature of the design problem and the extent of Mississippi River geography that needed to be considered an addressed. Therefore, the jury chose to make six additional awards in addition to selecting a winning design.
The First Runner-Up Award – very important in the event that the winner cannot undertake his/her travel proposal – goes to Phillip Lee of Brooklyn, New York for a proposal entitled “PUSH-PULL Landscapes at the American Bottoms.” The need for the reconstruction of the levees inspires an imaginative new system of ‘u-shaped’ levee landscapes, the upper parts of which form continuous public promenades that facilitate access to the river, and also act as wetlands to temporarily absorb water and lower surge heights during floods. The ‘saw-tooth’ quality of the river edge along both banks of the Mississippi suggests desire for additional engagement across the river communities.
The Second Runner-Up Award goes to Michael Hughes for a proposal entitled “Toxic-Mounds/Plume Parks.” Bio-remediation of the several thousand brownfields that line the western banks of the Mississippi River was the focus of this proposal. Inspired by the Cahokia Indian Mounds, the proposal ingeniously envisions collecting polluted soil into interesting mound-like shapes, then capped and programmed to become local attractions, destinations and urban river landscape viewing points.
In addition to the above three awards the jury chose to award four Honorable Mentions. These go to: Dimitrios Gourdoukis for a proposal entitled “Flow” which adds to the traditional conveyors of goods moving down the Mississippi River an armature of river pavilions and electronic billboards that facilitate the contemporary ‘flow’ of services and knowledge through our culture; J. Arthur Liu for a proposal entitled “Understanding the River Economy” which meticulously chronicles the industrial landscapes along the Mississippi and illustrates how these can be reenergized with new industries and a contemporary industrial aesthetic; Andrew Moddrell for a proposal entitled “STL SuperConnect” which boldly envisions as prominent a future East St. Louis as St. Louis itself, the two great future cities connected by a broad infrastructure and economic development belt that spans across the Mississippi; and Sony Devabhaktuni for a proposal entitled “Mississippi – Three Times” which arguably presented the best analysis of the complex cultures and environments along the St. Louis Region of the Mississippi.
The jury congratulates the winner, the other six award recipients, and each of the entrants for the effort and creativity that each brought to the competition, and for enriching our overall understanding of the St. Louis Region of the Mississippi River.
The Steedman Travelling Fellowship Competition is open to citizens of all countries with not more than eight years experience following receipt of a professional degree in architecture. The competition carries a $30,000 first place award to support study and research abroad – among the largest such award in the United States. Granted since 1925 the Steedman Fellowship is awarded biannually on the basis of a design competition along with a research and travel proposal. The 2010 competition presented an opportunity to develop an urban design plan for a broad area of land centered on the segment of the Mississippi River between the cities of St. Louis and East St. Louis. The competition’s conceptual focus was on hypothesizing creative engagements between urban and river edges: how to create greater interaction and synergy between the mighty Mississippi River and its adjoining urban territories.