After an international competition, the Waller Creek Conservancy has released the full list of nine designers who will vie for the chance to redesign the blighted Waller Creek in downtown Austin. The semifinalists include Austin architect Larry Speck of PageSoutherland Page, as well as teams from cities such as New York, Madrid, San Antonio, Boston and Phoenix.
The semi-finalists are:
- Burgos & Garrido Arquitectos and Miró Rivera Architects
- Civitas and BIG New York City
- CMG and Public Architecture
- James Corner Field Operations and SHoP
- !melk and Page Southerland Page
- Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates and Thomas Phifer & Partners
- Stoss Landscape Urbanism and Saucier & Perrotte
- Turenscape and Lake | Flato Architects
- Workshop: Ken Smith Landscape Architect, Ten Eyck Landscape Architects and Rogers Marvel Architects
"The Jury and the Conservancy are indebted to the teams that submitted for their thoughtful and complete portfolios regarding Design Waller Creek and want to extend a heartfelt thank you to each and every participant for their participation to date," conservancy officials said in a statement on the group's website. "Even in the beginning stage of the competition process, the submittals help to define the design problem and to inform the Jury and Conservancy as to right mix of design professionals to undertake this complex task."
Years in the making, the renewal and redesign of Waller Creek is viewed as one of the more compelling challenges for design teams and architects from across the world that competed for the chance to turn the dismal waterway that runs through the city's historic downtown into a community gathering place, an education center and a performance space. The nonprofit conservancy launched an international search for the team that would make the group's vision into a reality.
The group says it wants to turn the area into a unique space, and takes inspiration from such diverse projects as Discovery Green in Houston, Millennium Park in Chicago, and the High Line in Manhattan.
More than 30 teams entered the competition. Now that the field has been narrowed to nine semifinalists, the next hurdle is the chance to be a finalist - a list expected to be announced in April. The group hopes to start presenting ideas to the public at the end of this year.