Design Competition for Santa Fe Railyard Park

Santa Fe, N.M., 1/25/02-The Trust for Public Land has launched an international design competition seeking proposals for the development of the “Railyard Park and Plaza,” a new park and plaza with connecting walkways in the city’s downtown core. The competition invites landscape and urban design teams from New Mexico and beyond to submit ideas for a design that is visually beautiful and serves a “community-building” function by encouraging Santa Feans of all ages, economic classes and cultural backgrounds to interact with one another.

Encompassing a total of 13 acres-10 acres between Cerrillos Road, Guadalupe Street and Paseo de Peralta, and three acres north of Paseo de Peralta-the Railyard Park and Plaza is part of the City of Santa Fe’s greater plans for development of the 50-acre, city-owned Railyard. The property is the largest remaining piece of undeveloped land in downtown Santa Fe.

Since helping the city acquire the property in 1995, the Santa Fe office of the Trust for Public Land, a national nonprofit conservation organization, has worked with the city and community groups to develop a plan for the public space component of the Railyard. Specifically, the Trust for Public Land agreed to sponsor the design competition, which ultimately will result in construction of the 13-acre park, community plaza, and a network of walkways and bicycle trails.

“We think the design competition is a natural outgrowth of what Santa Feans have been asking for,” says Brian Drypolcher, Program Manager for the Trust for Public Land in Santa Fe. “We’re looking for creative design ideas that will make the Railyard a great place to visit with your neighbor, play, shop or just hang out. We’re asking artists and designers to help us create beautiful places. At the same time, we’re looking for ideas for activities, for things to do and see, and for things that will encourage people to come to the new park and plaza.”

Notice of the competition recently was sent to a broad base of architects, engineers, ecologists, artists and others. The notice called for landscape or urban design “teams” to submit a Request for Qualifications to the Trust for Public Land by February 19, 2002. Any out-of-state entity wishing to be considered for the project is required to include a New Mexico-based architectural, engineering or landscape firm, or individual of their choice, as part of their design team to ensure local representation.

The competition is being guided by a committee comprised of representatives of the Trust for Public Land, the City of Santa Fe, Railyard property owners, community and civic organizations, landscape designers, planners, engineers and others. In early March, following submissions of the Request for Qualifications, the committee will invite up to five teams to present their visions for the park and plaza. Teams will be required to submit a conceptual urban design plan for the site as well as a set of implementation guidelines that ensures the development will protect historic areas and enhance the local community environment. Each finalist will receive an honorarium of $20,000 to help defray competition costs.

In the final competition phase, each team will present a three-dimensional model illustrating their urban design concept. A public exhibit of the models will offer opportunities for public comments. In late May 2002, a jury comprised of four internationally recognized landscape and urban design experts, as well as four local community representatives, will recommend a winning design to the Trust for Public Land. (A list of jurors follows.)

The competition winner will receive the opportunity to negotiate a consulting contract with the Trust for Public Land to prepare detailed planning documents that will guide the phased development of the park and plaza, which is expected to extend over the next two to three years. This effort will be carefully integrated with other development activities taking place on the Railyard.

The Trust for Public Land was founded in 1972 with the purpose of protecting open spaces and parks that serve the needs of people in urban and rural areas. It has since added more than 2,000 properties to the nation’s commonwealth of open space. In New Mexico recently, the organization combined forces with the Bureau of Land Management and the Taos Land Trust to protect the spectacular views of the Rio Grande Gorge west of Taos. It is currently working in the northern village of Chimayo to protect 28 acres of farmland behind the historic Santuario de Chimayo.

For the second year in a row, The Wall Street Journal’s Smart Money magazine has named the Trust for Public Land the most efficient conservation charity in the United States, having dedicated 92% of its funds to programs in 2001.

The Santa Fe Railyard Park and Plaza Jury

Edward Archuleta, Santa Fe, NM; Director of the Santa Fe Project for 1000 Friends of New Mexico. A native Santa Fean, Edward Archuleta is currently the Director of the Santa Fe Project for 1000 Friends of New Mexico, a not-for-profit organization advocating for smart growth. Archuleta studied architecture and planning at the University of New Mexico, specializing in historic preservation. In 1990, Edward won an honorable mention in a national design competition for the National Peace Park in Washington, D.C. With local experiences growing up in the Railyard District, Archuleta currently sits on numerous local and state civic and government boards. Archuleta has served as Assistant to the New Mexico Secretary of State and worked in the planning departments of the City of Santa Fe and Santa Fe County, as well as for architectural firms in Santa Fe and Los Angeles.

Anita Berrizbeitia, Asst. Prof. of Landscape Architecture, University of Pennsylvania. Anita Berrizbeitia is an award-winning landscape architecture professor with experience in urban design. Recipient of several ASLA and BSLA awards, her work has focused on the design and building of landscapes ranging from urban-scaled projects like Battery Park City in New York and D.W. Field Park in Massachusetts to a wide range of private commissions. Formerly an assistant professor of landscape architecture at Harvard Graduate School of Design, she now teaches architecture at the University of Pennsylvania. After studying architecture at Universidad Simon Bolivar in Caracas Venezuela, Berrizbeitia received a BA from Wellesley and a MLA from Harvard. Her essays have been published in books such as Daniel Urban Kiley: The Early Gardens and Recovering Landscape (both Princeton Architectural Press), and many others. She is co-author of the book Inside Outside: Between Architecture and Landscape (1999).

Galen Cranz, Ph.D., Professor of Architecture, University of California, Berkeley. Galen Cranz, PhD, is a teacher and writer of environmental design and public places with jury experience on numerous national and local design competitions. Cranz teaches architecture at the University of California-Berkeley where she has been a faculty member since 1975. A contributor to many articles and essays, Professor Cranz is the author of the influential book The Politics of Park Design: The History of Urban Parks in America (MIT Press, 1982). In 1985, Cranz led the design team that won first prize in the National Endowment for the Arts’ Cityscape Design Competition for St. Paul, Minnesota. She was a grant recipient for “Defining the Sustainable Park” and was vice president of the Berkeley Arts Project. Cranz received her BA from Reed College and Masters and Doctorate in Sociology from the University of Chicago.

Richard Haag, FASLA, Hon. AIA, Landscape Architect, Seattle, Washington. Richard Haag is an award-winning, internationally known landscape architect and professor with a sensitivity to the natural environment and a commitment to reusing existing structures. Haag twice received the President’s Award for Design Excellence ASLA-one of the highest awards to be conferred upon an architect for his outstanding work in conceiving and designing Gas Works Park and Bloedel Reserve. Gas Works Park is a prime example of restoration and reuse of an obsolete, distressed industrial property. A graduate of Harvard Graduate School of Design, Haag was honored in 1996 by a Harvard sponsored symposium and exhibition entitled “Exploring the Landscape Architecture of Richard Haag.” A recipient of many honors and awards, he is currently a professor at the University of Washington. Haag has served as the Keynote Speaker on “Preserving Contemporary Landscape Architecture” for the National Park Service and has spoken at major design conferences held in France and Spain. Haag has designed and built more than 500 projects and his work is continually displayed and studied all over the world.

Lucy Lippard, Galisteo, NM; author, art critic, activist. Lucy Lippard is a writer, curator and activist. Since 1966, she has published 20 books on contemporary art and cultural studies, including Overlay: Contemporary Art and the Art of Prehistory (1983), Mixed Blessings: New Art in a Multicultural America (1990), The Lure of the Local: Senses of Place in a Multi-Centered Society (1997) and On the Beaten Track: Tourism, Art and Place (1999). She often writes and lectures nationally on issues of place, photography, environmental art, public art, and on individual feminist, Hispano and Native artists, among other topics. She has received a Guggenheim fellowship, two NEA grants, and the College Art Association’s Mather award for art criticism, as well as honorary doctorates from the Moore College of Art, San Francisco Art Institute, Massachusetts College of Art, and Maine College of Art. She lives in Galisteo, New Mexico, where she is the founding editor of the five-year-old monthly community newsletter, El Puente de Galisteo. She served on the initial COLTPAC Committee to establish criteria for open space in Santa Fe County, and is writing a book on the Galisteo Basin (with help from the Lannan Foundation).

Donlyn Lyndon, FAIA, Professor of Architecture, University of California, Berkeley; Editor, Places. Professor Donlyn Lyndon teaches urban design and architectural theory and has chaired several awards competition juries. Lyndon is Director of the Mayors Institute on City Design: West, editor of Places, and partner at Lyndon/Buchanan Associates. His recent design and planning projects include Menlo Park Center City Design Plan and Berkeley’s Downtown Public Improvements Master Plan. Lyndon’s design recognition includes the American Institute of Architects (AIA)/Sunset Citation, the AIA Urban Design Award, the AIA Twenty-Five Year Award, and Fellow of the AIA. Professor Lyndon’s academic work has been honored with the AIA-ACSA’s 1997 Topaz Award and appointment as University of California-Berkeley Chancellor’s Professor. Lyndon co-authored Chambers for a Memory Palace.

Carmella Padilla, Santa Fe, NM; author and activist. Carmella Padilla is a native Santa Fean and an award-winning writer who has written extensively about the Hispano art, culture and history of New Mexico and the Southwest. A graduate of the University of New Mexico with a BA in Journalism, her work has been published in the Santa Fe Reporter, Pasatiempo, Wall Street Journal, Dallas Morning News, American Craft, and more. Recent books include The Chile Chronicles: Tales of a New Mexico Harvest and Low ‘n Slow: Lowriding in New Mexico. In 1996, the City of Santa Fe honored Padilla with the Mayor’s Award for Excellence in the Literary Arts. Padilla is also an active community promoter of Hispano artists at venues such as Spanish Market, Museum of Spanish Colonial Art, Museum of Fine Arts, and the National Hispanic Cultural Center. Most recently, she curated the Museum of Fine Arts exhibit Eliseo Rodriguez: El Sexto Pintor and wrote and co-produced the PBS documentary, Los Escondidos: Unsung Artists of New Mexico. She currently is editing and writing Conexiones: Connections in Spanish Colonial Art, the inaugural exhibition book that will accompany the grand opening of the Museum of Spanish Colonial Art in Santa Fe in July 2002.

(One additional local juror to be determined.)