Phoenix, the fifth largest city in the United States by population and area, is very much a function of the 20th century technologies that enabled its rapid post WWII growth and inhabitation of an arid desert environment. While frequently cited for seemingly endless suburban sprawl, the metro area is in a state of transformation and is beginning to densify in line with other emergent urban centers. For decades, vacant land has made up a sizable portion of Phoenix’s land mass — up to 43 percent in the year 2000, according to a study by the Washington, D.C.-based Brookings Institution Center on Urban and Metropolitan Policy. This is especially true of the Phoenix downtown area, a location which has enjoyed positive, if not game-changing, developments over the past decade including light rail, a new university campus, thousands of new housing units, and an increasingly attractive business environment. The area also features a celebrated and long-standing arts and culture core with an emerging live music scene.

Nevertheless, opportunities and challenges abound when creating a resilient city in the Sonoran Desert, a location with limited water resources, extreme temperatures, and the occasionally dramatic dust storm. Added to the region’s dramatic environmental setting are the significant demographic changes brought by a vital immigrant community ready to contribute their talents and perspective to the building of a great city.

INFILL PHOENIX is a competition that asks entrants to propose an innovative program and design a structure, an element or a place, which supports that program and connects it with the existing urban fabric of Phoenix. The entrant’s assessment of what Phoenix is or could become is not limited to what is contained in this brief. It is hoped that creative approaches will be considered in both programming and the entrant’s infill proposal. Entrants are allowed to propose any use and any built form that they feel best communicates and celebrates the City through small, medium and large infill sites. Entrants will not be limited by specific zoning laws or overlays. Entrants are encouraged not to follow trends set forth in other cities, but to find ways to use this City’s unique assets, surrounding context, infrastructure, and climate to forge a unique vision for the City’s future that connects what exists by infilling the gaps.

Entrants are asked to present their ideas through a concise written description and a single digital board that elegantly conveys their proposal. Proposals may be as visionary or pragmatic as desired in both identifying and answering the challenge set forth. Entries will be judged on the clarity with which they present the relevance of their proposal and how effectively they design and communicate their idea that captures the essence of Phoenix. The winning entry will be thoughtful, well-conceived, graphically communicative and inspirational not only to architects but to the community at large.

Entrants are encouraged to select one of three (3) different scaled urban infill sites: SMALL, MEDIUM, and LARGE infill sites representing currently vacant or under-utilized land within the Downtown Redevelopment Area.
Infill site selection must address one of the following site selection criteria:
>SMALL less than 2/3 of an acre
>MEDIUM between 2/3 of an acre up to 2 acres but not a full city block
>LARGE a full city block or more

Entrants infill site selection and programmed use proposal should address the following criteria:
_Improve a vacant land parcel and/or adaptively reuse existing structures on the land parcel;
_Describe the public benefit in terms of increase/decrease of use and impact on neighboring land uses;
_Identify any historic preservation qualities and/or elements of neighborhood revitalization;
_Reveal pre-existing planning and zoning policies that could prevent the proposals realization;
_Incorporate resilient urban planning and sustainable design principles and their application to the selected site and its land use;
_Illustrate the development quality in terms of site design, building design, landscape, parking, access, and connectivity;
_If including housing, the proposal must address affordable and/or attainable housing needs;
_Incorporate the use of open space – linking adjacent land uses and building programs;
_Highlight regional and local multi-modal transit connectivity;
_Consider the financial feasibility and the economic impact potential of the proposal;
_Address additional quality of life and public safety elements contributing to the livability of the city.

Download the information related to this competition here.

  • Title

    Open Call: INFILL PHOENIX – Highlight, Reveal & Define the Essence of Phoenix
  • Type

    Competition Announcement (Ideas)
  • Website

  • Organizers

  • Registration Deadline

    20/10/2017 17:00
  • Submission Deadline

    03/11/2017 12:00
  • Venue

    Phoenix, Arizona
  • Price

    $100 AIA members / $125 for non AIA members / free to the first 10 Arizona students/student groups