Every year around this time the James River Green Building Council sponsors its Green Spaces Design Competition, focusing on a public space (or spaces) that could use a makeover and soliciting the public to submit ideas/designs. Those entries are then judged by a panel of professionals in fields such as architecture, design, business and art and a cash prize is awarded to the winner.
Last year it was Kanawha Plaza the JRGBC focused on. This year’s competition will give new life to an iconic Richmond structure — the 17th Street Farmer’s Market. With the site being redeveloped, the market structure will be dismantled and pieces stored away for future use. “The Enrichmond Foundation will be the ‘keeper’ of the materials,” said Julie Buchanan, a volunteer helping to organize the competition for the JRGBC, “and we’re partnering with them on this competition.” Buchanan said that the competition is focused on three area’s this year, not just one. And I think the second one, especially, will be of interest to RichmondOutside.com readers. “We’re asking contestants to design three new structures using materials salvaged from the old market: A market pavilion for George Wythe High School to open a student-run farmer’s market; a trailhead pavilion connecting recreationists to the James River Park System from the planned Dam Walk; a small-scale storage and shade pavilion for community and school gardens.” The trailhead would be located next to the small parking lot at Seventh and Semmes, right before you turn onto the Manchester Bridge. Currently, the lot is open for those accessing the Floodwall, but there’s almost never anyone parked there. That will almost certainly change with the completion of the Brown’s Island Dam Walk. “It’s not a very big space,” Buchanan said. “It would be a trailhead that would maybe have some signage, some wayfinding and some space for interpretation that the city wanted to add to the site. It would connect to the proposed Dam Walk.” The kickoff for the design competition is this Thursday (March 6) at 6 p.m. at Hardywood Park Craft Brewery. That’s where all the details for the competition will be revealed. If you can’t make it to Hardywood, this website will have all the info by Friday morning.