This competition seeks architectural design ideas and a workable development program for a historic military armory, its 2.92 acre site and potentially three adjacent land parcels in the City of New Rochelle, New York on Long Island Sound's Echo Bay. It is structured as a three-part design competition with the initial phase an 'open' one for architects, designers, developers, urban planners, students and community members from around the world who are encouraged to apply and submit their designs for the site. This first phase seeks visionary proposals and innovative development solutions for the downtown site that links the commercial and residential core of New Rochelle to the waterfront of the Long Island Sound. North of the armory site (in red site 2) sits a large parcel of land marked (in yellow / Site #1) that will become the home to a large development of high-density residences, commercial storefronts and a small park facing the water. This (yellow) site is already spoken for and not part of this competition. Adjacent to the armory site (in purple site #3 and in green site #2) are two waterfront parcels of land that may be assembled for development as part of a unified design plan. They are currently vacant properties but as part of a design proposal can be bundled together to create a single design plan. In addition a fifth site (in orange site #5) is also vacant and could be purchased by a potential developer. Design submissions should consider the significant position of the site as the only downtown parcel of land with a connection to Long Island Sound, its physical and cultural context, opportunities it creates for public waterfront access and possible commercial or nonprofit funding opportunities. Finally, the phase one jury is looking for a proposal that understands the pivotal nature of the site and its potential to lead to a rejuvenation of New Rochelle's downtown and Echo Bay waterfront.
This first phase of the competition asks project teams to submit architectural renderings, site plans and no more than two pages of written documentation outlining their proposal for the site. It is expected that all proposals will emphasize high-performance sustainable infrastructure, and appropriate and responsive programming for the site. Finally design teams are encouraged to partner with a developer for the project as the winning team will realize their project in consultation with the City of New Rochelle which is the owner of the armory and surrounding waterfront landscape. Successful phase one entries will be given an opportunity to rectify any shortcomings with respect to their qualifications prior to commencement of Phase two. The final submission date for phase 1 of the competition is August 5, 2013 at 12 o'clock midnight Eastern Standard Time and all entries should be post marked by this date. Teams should submit their contact details including a telephone number and an email address upon registration for the competition.
These phase one submissions will be juried the week of August 5 and announced on August 9 by a distinguished jury of architects, public officials, urban planners and developers. From this group the jury will select a short list of teams to move on to second phase of the competition. These teams will have until August 23 to announce a developer partner in order to remain in the competition. For Phase three, finalists will be selected and each will be awarded a $5,000 stipend to further their designs and make a final in person submission to the jury. The final submission of renderings and site plans will be in the form of design boards (see below) and a written booklet of no more than six pages describing the project, its opportunities and potential for the city of New Rochelle. Submissions from individuals, students, and non-licensed firms are welcomed during Phase one; however, finalist project teams proceeding to Phase two of the design competition must include at least one licensed architect and a developer partner. Names and contacts of potential developers can be forward by the competition committee, if needed.
The first phase of the Waterfront Gateway Design Project has concluded and twelve firms were selected to move on to the second round of the competition. Each submitted proposal was reviewed in a blind jury process and the jurors were asked to base their decisions on six basic principles:
- Encourage redevelopment of this unique property and highlight its distinctive waterfront features and the structural elements of its significant buildings;
- Activate a currently underutilized site for the benefit of the public's enjoyment;
- Complement and enhance the ongoing revitalization of the New Rochelle shoreline;
- Honor the site's heritage;
- Exhibit architectural excellence; and
- Provide development feasibility.
Waterfront Gateway Design Competition Jury: