A team of students representing Georgia Tech received a coveted Honorable Mention in the 2012 Urban Land Institute (ULI) Gerald D. Hines Student Urban Design Competition with a redevelopment plan for a Houston neighborhood. The multidisciplinary team, one of a record 139 to enter the competition, consisted of:
- Jessica Florez, team leader, MSUD
- Ryan Hagerty, MCRP
- Logan Tuura, M.Arch/MCRP
- Christina Span, MCRP/MSPP
- Audrey Plummer, M.Arch/MCRP
- Faculty Advisor: Professor Ellen Dunham-Jones
Teams were challenged with creating a practical and workable scheme for the best use of approximately 16.3 acres owned by the United States Postal Service (USPS). The competition focused on the USPS property since it is considered by many stakeholders to be a key site to reconnect the Theater District, the Historic District and the greater downtown to the Buffalo Bayou.
Tech’s scheme, “Artesano,” focused on creating a sustainable neighborhood for entrepreneurs and craftsmen, and was motivated by four pillars—to connect, diversify, activate and sustain.
The team also was inspired by the landmark existing USPS building, designed by Wilson, Morris, Crain, and Anderson, and completed in 1962. By removing a section of the building but retaining the existing structure to allow Bayou Boulevard to run through it, a new space would celebrate the historical legacy of the site and create a sense of place.
A warehouse west of Bayou Boulevard would be rehabilitated to accommodate artisan studios, shared workspaces and specialized retail. The east side of the warehouse would be re-imagined to house community and cultural gathering spaces. The complete neighborhood build-out would include specialized retail, artisan lofts, and affordable housing.
The ULI Gerald D. Hines Student Urban Design Competition, now in its tenth year, is an urban design and development challenge for graduate students. The competition challenges multidisciplinary student teams to devise a comprehensive development program for a real, large-scale site. Student teams comprising at least three disciplines have two weeks to develop solutions that include drawings, site plans, tables and market-feasible financial data.