Architecture for Humanity: Charleston is pleased to announce the chapters first open design competition, titled The HuB. The goals and objectives of the competition have been developed in direct response to dialogue with various Charleston non-profit organizations. Each group was asked to candidly answer the following questions: (1) If you had a magic wand, what one thing would you change in Charleston? (2) How is Charleston incomplete? Finish this sentence: I wish Charleston had ? (3) What is preventing your organization from reaching more people? In overwhelming fashion, the themes of accessibility, connection and better public transportation emerged out of the responses. Other re-occurring responses included the need for more community meeting space and the availability of affordable commercial space.
As a result of the non-profit survey, AFH Charleston developed the competition program, which includes a new light rail system that will provide a connection between Charlestons downtown peninsula and its surrounding communities. This new system would make a huge step towards mending the fractured communities, reducing automobile use and congestion, and furthering the sustainability of this beautiful city. Entrants to the competition are challenged to design the two major components of the new transit system:
The Downtown Transit Hub: The new downtown transit hub is a mixed-use building that will be located within the heart of the Charleston peninsula. The building will provide services for light rail, bus riders, cyclists, pedestrians and will also address the growing need for community meeting space, affordable retail and office space. We have chosen an underused site in a prominent location adjacent to the Charleston City Visitor Center on Meeting Street. The site, which is currently used as a parking lot will be drastically improved by the new development, which will provide the prominence expected at a significant Meeting Street location and will help repair the urban-edge that has been severed by the sites current use.
The Node Transit Station: The node transit station is a prototypical design that will be located at various locations throughout the Charleston Lowcountry. It is a modestly scaled structure that will serve the new light rail system and the existing bus system. The node is a singular design that will occur at multiple sites and will accompany park-and-ride style parking lots.
The two designs should collaborate to create a system of cohesive recognizable nodes for users. The HuB is an ideas competition geared towards the generation of innovative thoughts and solutions that will spark debate and help in the advancement of this rich culture. It will occur in a single stage, aimed towards identifying the most appropriate proposal that responds to the competitions goals and objectives.
The HuB Design Competition aims to:
•Further research into the development of light rail and future sustainable development in Charleston.
•Raise awareness to the needs of our diverse community.
•Serve as a tool for exhibiting the power of design and the innovative thoughts and ideas of the emerging generation of designers.
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