Every architect dreams of redesigning the strip malls that pepper America’s landscape, says Mike Jobes of the Miller/Hull Partnership. The mass homogeneity of the medium means vast applicability of design, and far more impact than could ever come from a single building or project, no matter how exceptional.
A Miller/Hull design is one of 10 finalists in a national competition on rethinking strip malls.
In the Miller/Hull vision, movable aeroponic plant trays shade parking and reduce the heat island effect at a Scottsdale strip mall. Biofuel and textile-quality plants take irrigation from a treated city sewer line. Rainwater capture waters plants that could be harvested on-site at a lot-side farmer’s market.
A portion of the strip is reoriented to face houses at its current backside, and rezoning residential space for street-level retail and live-work space remakes an alley as a pedestrian street.
All this, and Famous Footwear and Subway are still in business.