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Flint’s Flat Lot Competition Has Its Inaugural Winner
Posted: Thursday, March 21, 2013 |

The Flint AIA chapter and Flint Public Art Project have unveiled the winner of the first annual Flat Lot Competition, an initiative to design and build a temporary summer pavilion in the central parking lot in downtown Flint, Michigan. The jury chose Two Islands, a London-based team of architects and designers, the receive the $25,000 grand prize for their proposal 'Mark's House.' The project opens June 14 for Flint Art Walk and will remain on the site until Fall.

Winner of the Flat Lot Competition: Mark's House by Two Islands (Image courtesy of Flat Lot Competition)

Click above image to view slideshow
Winner of the Flat Lot Competition: Mark's House by Two Islands (Image courtesy of Flat Lot Competition)

From the Winner's Announcement:

The winning proposal, Mark's House, tells the story of an imagined Flint resident, Mark Hamilton, whose family loses a home to foreclosure. The project perches a Tudor-style house clad in reflective panels on top of a mirrored pedestal, giving the structure the appearance of floating in mid-air. The house serves as a metaphor for both what the city has lost, as well as its ongoing revitalization, while also providing a canopy and stage for Flat Lot events. In addition, the structure can hold up to 1,500 gallons of water, which can be released as a cooling spray during hot summer days.

Image courtesy of Flat Lot Competition

Click above image to view slideshow
Image courtesy of Flat Lot Competition

Flint Public Art Project and AIA-Flint launched the competition last fall. The competition brief called for a temporary structure that would take up no more than eight parking spaces, and would support public programs by providing amenities such as seating, shade, cooling devices, and a stage for performances. Nearly 400 teams from more than 35 countries around the world registered for the competition, and 221 entries ultimately were submitted by the March 1 deadline.

Image courtesy of Flat Lot Competition

Click above image to view slideshow
Image courtesy of Flat Lot Competition

Two Islands is a London based design studio, founded by William Villalobos, Cesc Massanas and Tomas Selva.

Three other projects received honorable mention:

  • Stage a Lot,by KSE Studio (Sofia Krimizi and Kyriakos Kyriakou) of Brooklyn, NY
  • Building Bodies for Work by Wes Janz, Tim Gray, and Andrea Swartz of Ball State University
  • AC.H2O, by Michael Ting of University of Calgary

These projects and 17 others will be exhibited along with Mark’s House at an exhibit to open on April 14 during the Flint Art Walk.

Current situation of Flint's central downtown parking lot: Mott Foundation building is on the right; Genesee Towers, on the left, is slated for demolition (Image courtesy of Flat Lot Competition)

Click above image to view slideshow
Current situation of Flint's central downtown parking lot: Mott Foundation building is on the right; Genesee Towers, on the left, is slated for demolition (Image courtesy of Flat Lot Competition)

The Flat Lot Competition panel was chaired by Reed Kroloff, director, Cranbrook Academy of Art.

Other panel members included:

  • Pedro Gadanho, curator of contemporary architecture, MOMA
  • John Gazall, Flint-based architect, board member, Downtown Development Authority, and member of AIA-Flint
  • John Henry, director, Flint Institute of Arts
  • Monica Ponce de Leon, dean, University of Michigan Taubman College of Architecture
  • Shannon Easter White, Flint-based architect and member of AIA-Flint
  • Stephen Zacks, executive director, Flint Public Art Project.


Comments:
candycorb
United States
Friday, March 22, 2013
I actually don't mind the images of the project and the story, but feel uneasy that a British firm won. It seems like a local Michigan based team should have won.

Also, where are the black people in the renderings? Last I checked the demographics of Flint were not made up of entourage from KPF Hong Kong.

jeffry_136
Boston
Sunday, March 24, 2013
Two reasons that I would not enter this competition.
1- it was clear from the beginning that $25,000 was never enough and that the winning entry would be so "cool" that the price tag wouldn't matter to the jury.
2- it was also probable that some cheesy atmospheric effect of rendering would be too "sexy" to resist. This project will be reflecting.... Wait for it... A parking lot.

Shirley
Philadelphia
Sunday, March 24, 2013
jeffry_136: Disagree on your first point. The budget is the budget, either you propose something that can be built for this amount, or not. Despite some suggestion of a staircase leading to the inside of this structure, otherwise it seems simply like a structural armature to house lights, the mirrored surfaces and some sort of water tank.

Let's just hope they keep the water functions and electricity separate.

King Vladimir
newyork
Tuesday, March 26, 2013
@jeffry_136

Exactly.

nomad
newyork
Tuesday, March 26, 2013
@jeffry_136. I agree. I have a feeling we will see a kickstarter campaign. Although, I enjoy the renderings I have a hard time believing this will come in at budget. I hope it does come in under or at budget because coming in over is a bad habit some architects have.

flossy pinkstone
new york
Saturday, March 30, 2013
@jeffry_136 @nomad -- I guess the question to ask the jury and the organizers of the Flint Public Art Project is this -- were the entrants required to submit a budget to justify their design ?

@ Shirley "a budget is a budget" if there is one and one is held to it.

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