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Competition: Chouteau Greenway, St. Louis

An international competition has been announced for a new 11-kilometre urban greenway in St Louis, Missouri, United States (Deadline: 21 November)

Open to ‘talented and innovative’ multidisciplinary teams, the contest will select a ‘dynamic, unique and vibrant’ proposal for the new route linking Washington University and Forest Park to Downtown, the Eero Saarinen-designed Gateway Arch and the Mississippi Riverfront.

The Chouteau Greenway project, backed by Great Rivers Greenway, will link together existing neighbourhoods, employment areas, parks, transport hubs and educational and cultural institutions. The new linear route, featuring spurs north and south, will connect into an emerging city-wide network of green corridors.

Gateway Arch

Gateway Arch

Source: Image by Sam Valadi

Gateway Arch

Architect and competition manager Donald Stastny said: ‘The Chouteau Greenway is envisioned to be a vibrant corridor, dense with experiential opportunities, that leverages community, institutional, and private assets in creating a unique piece of urban infrastructure.

‘As the “backbone” of the central city, it will provide junctures for connections to communities, institutions, and natural resources in and around the core of St. Louis.’

Located on the western bank of the Mississippi River close to the border with Illinois, St. Louis is the largest metropolitan area in the state of Missouri. The city is well known for its landmark Gateway Arch created by Eero Saarinen in 1965.

The arch was designed as a monument to the westward expansion of the United States, and forms the centrepiece of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial park.

Great Rivers Greenway was founded as a public agency in 2000 to promote the delivery of a major greenway network connecting together existing amenities within the city. So far around 180 kilometres of the planned 960-kilometre network has been constructed.

Van Valkenburgh Associates defeated Foster + Partners and others in a contest to regenerate the downtown area of St Louis, the Gateway Arch grounds, and the Mississippi riverfront seven years ago. The studio’s dramatic ‘CityArchRiver’ scheme will be connected to the city’s emerging green corridor network via the Chouteau Greenway.

Contest site

Contest site

Contest site

The latest project will connect St Louis’ Forest Park to the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial along with various neighbourhoods and cultural institutions along the way. A small segment of the route between Boyle and Sarah Avenues has already commenced as part of plans to deliver a new MetroLink light rail station serving the Cortex Innovation Community.

Five shortlisted teams will receive £56,000 each to participate in the competition’s design phase following an open prequalification round.

Judges include landscape architect Mark Johnson; MIT professor of architecture Adèle Naudé Santos; architect and urban designer Allison Williams; and Ed Hassinger chief engineer of the Missouri Department of Transportation.

How to apply

Deadline

The deadline for applications is 21 November

Contact details

Great Rivers Greenway
6178 Delmar Boulevard
St. Louis
Missouri 63112
UNITED STATES

Tel: 314-436-7009
Email: info@grgstl.org

Visit the competition website for more information

Chinatown Park case study: Q&A with Chris Bridle

The senior associate at CRJA-IBI Group discusses lessons learned creating a new greenway park in Boston

Chris Bridle

Chris Bridle

Chris Bridle

How did your Chinatown Park project enhance connections within the historic centre of Boston?

The linear nature of Chinatown Park is due to the site’s former function as an exit ramp from the interstate highway 93 - the only sub-grade section of a previously elevated highway that severed the historic neighbourhoods. The park became a much-needed community resource and the largest open space in the Chinatown and Leather districts. It replaced the very divisive piece of infrastructure with new connector surface roads and with both active and passive, community-focused open-spaces. The combination of restoring the urban grid, creating new streetscapes and opening up vistas at key locations with the insertion of flexible-use community space was key in knitting the urban fabric back together.

Chinatown Park by CRJA-IBI Group, Boston

Chinatown Park by CRJA-IBI Group, Boston

Chinatown Park by CRJA-IBI Group, Boston

Which architectural, material, visual and other methods did you harness in your design?

Chinatown Park is the first park parcel along the greenway and an intentionally unique space. It derives its vernacular from Chinese and Asian influences and from its distinct neighbourhood. It makes use of the exposed brick building facades that once turned their back on the highway, using them as a canvas for the new red steel gateway and soft landscape elements. The new steel architectural elements are important in giving the space structure; they announce the space and the Chinatown neighbourhood from South Station’s Dewey Square and create intimate rooms while reinforcing and uniting with the existing built form and scale. Within the space, the water-feature and stream are hidden objects – a reward for passing through the space where people are encouraged to interact and play.

Chinatown Park by CRJA-IBI Group, Boston

Chinatown Park by CRJA-IBI Group, Boston

Chinatown Park by CRJA-IBI Group, Boston

What advice would you have to contest participants on creating a new St Louis greenway?

It is important to get the planning right when locating new parks and open spaces along urban greenways. Successful spaces will engage with their adjacent communities both physically and programmatically. Find ways to remove or transform divisive infrastructure. Punctuate and enhance vistas with gateway structures and public art. Work with the existing urban scale and form and embrace the community design process.

Chinatown Park by CRJA-IBI Group, Boston

Chinatown Park by CRJA-IBI Group, Boston

Chinatown Park by CRJA-IBI Group, Boston

 

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