Donjek Projects: Victory in the Minneapolis Riverfront Design Competition!

One of multiple reasons for my extended silence on the Cents of Place blog has been my involvement in the intense exercise of the Minneapolis Riverfront Design Competition. I posted in early November that my team, led by Kennedy and Violich Architecture (KVA) of Boston and the Tom Leader Studio of Berkeley, had been among four teams selected from over fifty to engage in a second round of competition.

FP12 This morning, the competition's supporters and sponsors (including the Walker Art Center, the University of Minnesota's College of Design, the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, the Minneapolis Parks Foundation, and others) gathered on Nicollet Island to announce that our team is the winner of the competition!

The process, inside our team, unfolded like a charette, only on a broader and deeper scale than I’ve seen before. Since early November, this team pulled together volumes to inform a thorough approach to a complicated river corridor. There are many meeting points in the project area that each represent opportunities: Where North meets Northeast, river meets shores, trails meet bridge heads, industrial meets other land uses, central business district meets neighborhoods. Hydrology, bridge design, area culture and history (indigenous, pioneer and more recent), land use economics, institutions, equity of access to parks – these topics and many others received focused, research-driven attention. Led by Tom Leader, and Sheila Kennedy and Frano Violich of KVA, this team produced an innovative approach to tie these issues all together in physical space.

FP13 It's a privelege to be a member of this team. I've also marveled at the compelling mix of collaborators who made this possible, from the sponsors to standout project manager Mary DeLaittre. That we will together have the opportunity to continue working, focused on a particular site to be determined on the Upper River in Minneapolis, promises to be a professional highlight.

See the final proposal here.

Donjek Projects: Part of Finalist Team in Minneapolis Riverfront Design Competition

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I am very pleased to announce that I will be participating in a final round of competition in the Minneapolis Riverfront Design Competition as part of a team led by the Tom Leader Studio and Kennedy and Violich Architecture. The competition is facilitated by a collaborative of arts, design and open space organizations, and will culminate in public presentations by the four teams selected as finalists. Other firms on the team are ConsultEcon and Sherwood Engineers.

The collaborative of sponsors is a unique and creative one, including the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, Minneapolis Parks Foundation, University of Minnesota College of Design, and the Walker Art Center. The competition's project manager is the inventive Mary deLaittre of Groundwork City Building

I joined the team with enthusiasm and I'm pleased to report that Donjek and its collaborators have been selected as one of four finalist teams, chosen from 55 applicants. According to Bill Morrish, a jury member for the competition and Dean of the School of Constructed Environments at Parsons the New School of Design (and founding director of the University of Minnesota's Metropolitan Design Center), the competition drew interest of teams hailing from fourteen countries across five continents. 

Teams will converge on Minneapolis late this month, and submission and public presentation of ideas will be presented in late January. The role of Donjek is to provide public finance and economic expertise, as well as local, regional and historic context to inform the ambitious goals of the team. Stay tuned for more details about our proposal!