Centennial Festival of Riverboats Pavilions Design Competition

Registration Deadline: Friday, February 28, 2014.
Submission Deadline: Friday, March 28, 2014.

The Belle of Louisville, the oldest operating steamboat in the United States, will be celebrating a century of service in October, 2014. To celebrate this milestone, the Centennial Festival of Riverboats will take place from October 14-19, 2014 at Louisville’s Waterfront Park in downtown Louisville, attracting an estimated 300,000 visitors from around the world.

The nearby Falls of the Ohio, as the only non-navigable stretch of the river between modern-day Pittsburgh and the Gulf of Mexico, prompted this region’s earliest European settlement in late eighteenth century. Today’s regional cityscape including Louisville, New Albany, Jeffersonville and Clarksville grew out of this natural phenomenon. The celebration of the Belle’s 100th is thus an opportunity to celebrate the legacy of river travel and the enormous cultural influence it has exerted in this region, an area that the local news programs refer to as “Kentuckiana.”

Riverboats attending the Centennial include the Belle of Louisville, The Spirit of Jefferson (Louisville, KY), Anson Northrup (Minneapolis, MN), River Queen (Cincinnati, OH), Colonel (Galveston, TX), Belle of Cincinnati (Cincinnati, OH), Celebration Belle (Moline, IL), General Jackson (Nashville, TN) and the Spirit of Peoria (Peoria, IL).  In addition, the American Queen (Memphis, TN) will be docked in Jeffersonville, IN Friday and Saturday evening (Oct. 17 and 18).  The boats will host cruises, concerts, dinners and tastings throughout the week to complement the festival on the Waterfront.

The Festival Committee invites architects, designers & artists to participate in the Centennial Festival of Riverboats through the design of a small-scale, temporary and multipurpose pavilion to be used in series throughout the Waterfront.  The pavilions will accommodate a variety of activities during the event.  Actual uses may include music performance space, seating, bourbon tasting space or areas for vending and exhibitions.  Because of its repetition along the event grounds, the winning pavilion will play a major role as a visual and programmatic cue for the festival.  

No local registration is required although a technical understanding of the proposed design is necessary for fabrication of the awarded proposal.  Design teams are strongly encouraged to include members holding expertise in architecture or structures.  Designs must not present risk to the general safety and welfare of the event attendees and must consider structural requirements and the possible need to withstand high winds and driving rains without the use of fixed, below-grade foundations. Entrants will note that pavilion locations will be comprised largely of paved surfaces with no capacity for stakes, penetrations or other sub-surface work.

Entrants should clearly represent the form, material and fabrication strategy of the proposed structure while communicating the design’s relation to the site and event.  The scale of the pavilions should be seen as that of a small gallery or stage area (roughly 750 square feet each).  The final scale and form of the project is the decision of the individual designer or design team.  Entrants are required to consider material availability and complexity of assembly on a budget of $8,000 per pavilion.  Entrants will have no control over the placement and orientation of their designs.



Registration Deadline: Friday, February 28, 2014.
Submission Deadline: Friday, March 28, 2014.
Competition website: Visit website
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