Walk This Way

Less than 12 hours are left for the contest deadline.
Please visit the contest website for additional info.

AIA Charleston is pleased to announce an ideas competition developed to exhibit the power of design in transforming under utilized community assets. The Septima P. Clark Parkway, also known as the “Crosstown,” is an efficient high-speed connection across the downtown Charleston peninsula. This artery is used by more than 60,000 vehicles everyday and has been christened “The Great Connector” by elected officials. Ironically, the Great Connector has created a Great Divide through the heart of the peninsula. Designed primarily for high speed vehicular traffic, the Crosstown effectively divides the city and creates a perilous crossing for pedestrians. In 1975, a pedestrian bridge was erected to provide a safe connection across the highway. Although well intentioned, the bridge was constructed at a mid-block location remote from major intersections and the bridge access points were poorly defined. As a result the bridge has been in-effective at attracting pedestrian use. In addition to the bridge’s under utilization, its somber utilitarian appearance provides an unpleasant gateway into the city. WALK THIS WAY is a call for designers to re imagine the existing pedestrian bridge as a welcoming, pedestrian oriented structure that fosters connections through the heart of the city. Although considerations have been publicly discussed about adding additional pedestrian bridges, the most viable, sustainable short term solution would be to revitalize this existing amenity. Mayor Joseph P. Riley, Jr., Hon. AIA and staff have given AIA Charleston full support in this important exploration.

For the purposes of this competition, entrants are asked to consider how the existing pedestrian bridge over the Septima Clark Expressway could be re imagined as both a more inviting pedestrian bridge as well as a symbolic gateway to the city. Design proposals should (at minimum) address issues of pedestrian safety, accessibility, and connectivity. The bridge is primarily intended for pedestrians, but other means of non-automobile traffic may be considered. Designs must allow for two way traffic. The existing bridge and context should inform design responses, but entrants are asked to develop proposals which most effectively address both the pragmatic and poetic needs of the project.

Entries will be judged on how well they addressed the following criteria:

  • Enhance the visibility and aesthetic value of the bridge itself.
  • Address way finding issues from both Rutledge and Coming Streets.
  • Enhance the pedestrian experience to encourage and attract traffic.
  • Provide a practical, safe, functional path for pedestrian crossing.
  • Transform the bridge into a positive landmark for residents and visitors.

Submissions must be formatted as (1) 20”x 36” PDF file, landscape orientation. 10 MB max. The choice of drawing type is left to the discretion of each participant however it is highly encouraged that 3-D perspectives and a bridge cross-section be included. Each entry should include a description of the design concept (250 words max). Entries may contain additional text, but entrants are encouraged to rely primarily on graphics to convey ideas. Submissions that are not formatted correctly or ones that include identifying marks or logos that could be used to identify the submission’s authors will be disregarded without reimbursement.

AIA Charleston strives to promote a collaborative design process and encourages cross disciplinary teaming efforts. Submissions will be accepted from individuals and teams within the fields of architecture, landscape architecture and urban design. Students are encouraged to participate. There is no limit to the number of submissions; however each submission must be accompanied by an entry fee and registration.

Call for Entries Opens: August 11
Questions/ Clarifications Deadline: August 25
Registration Deadline: September 1
Submission Deadline: October 20
Jury Evaluation: October 21-31
Winners Announced: November
Competition Celebration: November
Exhibition TBD

Students (currently enrolled full time) $10 US
Associate AIA Members $20 US
AIA Members $40 US
Non-AIA Members $50 US

*If any contestant or team decides to withdraw from the competition the registration fee will not be refunded. Associate member rate does not apply if team contains one or more full AIA members. For non-AIA Members teamed with AIA or Associate AIA members, the AIA rates will apply.

Prizes will be awarded at the jury’s discretion and are subject to change. However, monetary prizes will be awarded to the top entries as selected by the jury. Additionally, at the completion of the competition, all entrants will be publicly displayed in a public design exhibition. All entries will also be compiled and published through a variety of traditional print and electronic outlets. It is anticipated that the publication will be available in 2015. It is anticipated that the prizes awarded will fall within the following range:

1st prize: $ 700 US
2nd prize: $ 200 US
3rd prize: $ 100 US

3D Revit and 2D AutoCAD drawings are available from the competition website. Photos of existing context are also available as a separate download on the website. Participants are encouraged to utilize other resources at the

Competition website: Visit website
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