Dawntown is an architectural competition held every year to " to bring innovative architecture to Downtown Miami, and help tell the exciting urban story of Downtown Miami to the world." Every year it gets bigger, with hundreds of designers competing. The subjects are often banal; this year it is a design of a Metromover elevated rail station.
But the results are anything but banal; computers have put so much power into the hands of designers that the presentations are mind-blowing. The winners are being announced tomorrow, but here are a few images that caught my eye as I cruised through the vast Flickr set. Who knew that a train stop could be so exciting.
From Adriaan Geuze of West 8, a juror in the competition, in the press release:
"I am excited to see the results of the competition and contribute to Miami's ongoing dialogue about innovative architecture," said Mr. Geuze, whose firm was recently hired to design a park next to the New World Symphony's new campus in Miami Beach. "Miami architecture embodies the shock of the new, but a common thread is Miami's unique connection with its landscape and natural features."
DawnTown was created by Kai van Hasselt and Andrew Frey, who now serves as the Executive Director in addition to being a urban planning attorney at Akerman Senterfitt. "DawnTown is part of an emerging trend to use open-source architecture competitions to solve design problems and improve people's lives," according to Frey. "What is unique about DawnTown is how it draws on downtown Miami's rich and evolving urban context, the perfect backdrop for the creativity of the entries."
Mayor of Miami Manny Diaz emphasized that "DawnTown is the direct result of the downtown Miami community's commitment to improving urban design and the richness of our downtown life, and every year the DawnTown award ceremony is a celebration of the strides we have made and the new ideas, from Miami and around the world, that inspire us to move forward."
DawnTown 2009: Metromover is sponsored by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, DWNTWN/Miami DDA, Marquis, and Akerman Senterfitt. The competition is produced in partnership with the University of Miami, Florida International University, Miami-Dade College schools of architecture, Design & Architecture Senior High, the Miami Art Museum, and the City of Miami. Prizes are $8,000, $4,000, and $2,000.