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  Redesigning the Waterfront

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A Special Feature of DJC.COM
September 15, 2010
A look at firms competing for the project

By KATIE ZEMTSEFF

Journal Staff Reporter

Four teams shortlisted to design the Central Waterfront project will make their public presentations today.

Photo courtesy of Sky-Pix, www.sky-pix.com

This is an opportunity for people to submit questions about the teams’ experience and general approach, and for the city to see how each team interacts with the public.

Here are the four team leaders: Seattle-based Gustafson Guthrie Nichol, New York City-based James Corner Field Operations, Brooklyn-based Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates and Philadelphia-based Wallace Roberts & Todd. They all have local firms on their teams.

The project is expected to transform Seattle’s downtown and is said to be one of the most important urban design projects in the country today.

Mark Reddington, who is a partner at LMN Architects, a member of the Central Waterfront Partnerships Committee and co-chair of the AIA Waterfront Task Force, said, “It’s huge. It will completely change the organization and sensibility of public open space in the city.”

The city received 30 proposals from local, national and international firms. The team that is ultimately selected will lead the process for designing more than nine acres of public waterfront space and a new surface street on Alaskan Way.

The design team will be selected shortly after this week’s presentations and will help the city choose an engineering team. The city received six proposals for engineering work. That team should be selected by the end of September.

Design will begin in October and run until 2015. Construction is scheduled to start in 2016 and be completed in 2018.

The design and engineering teams will work closely with a team led by Tetra Tech that is providing consultant services for the seawall replacement.

Seattle Planning Director Marshall Foster said redesign of the central waterfront is the city’s biggest project in decades in terms of the opportunities it will create. The budget for phase one design work, which will stretch over two years, is expected to be about $6 million.

The estimated budget for planning and design of the entire project is between $50 million and $70 million.

Katie Zemtseff can be reached at katiez@djc.com or at (206) 622-8272.



Here are the four teams:

Image courtesy Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates
Brooklyn Bridge Park, designed by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, is under construction. It will eventually encompass about 85 acres and 1.3 miles of waterfront.

MVVA designs Brooklyn Bridge Park

Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates has been involved with the design of this park since 1998, first as a sub-consultant on the original master plan and then as the park’s lead planner and designer.











Photo courtesy of Iwan Baan
The first nine blocks of the High Line opened in June of 2009 to great acclaim. The next 10 blocks are set to open in the spring of 2011. It was designed by James Corner Field Operations.

James Corner Field Operations led the team for NYC’s High Line

James Corner Field Operations is the project lead for High Line, an urban park set on top of an old elevated railroad structure in New York City.














Image courtesy of Linda Oyama Bryan
Lurie Garden, designed by Gustafson Guthrie Nichol, is between the Art Institute of Chicago and Millennium Park’s great lawn. It serves as a neighborhood park, and a refuge for birds and butterflies.

Gustafson Guthrie Nichol designed garden at Chicago’s Millennium Park

Seattle-based Gustafson Guthrie Nichol designed the 5-acre Lurie Garden in downtown Chicago’s Millennium Park.














Images courtesy of Wallace Roberts & Todd
The riverfront in Philadelphia today is cut off from the city by Interstate 95. Wallace Roberts & Todd's plan would add parks, open space and a grand civic boulevard.

Wallace Roberts & Todd has a plan to connect Philadelphia to its waterfront

Wallace Roberts & Todd was lead designer on creating a new vision for the waterfront in its home town of Philadephia. The goal was to find ways to revitalize seven miles of the Delaware River.


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