09-09-2019

2019 American Architecture Awards to Civitas and W for Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park in Tampa

W Architecture and Landscape Architecture, Civitas,

Albert Vecerka,

West-Tampa, Florida, USA,

Architecture/Landscape/Urbanism, urban park,

Refurbishment, Landscaping,

The project in a challenged neighbourhood in West Tampa, Florida by Denver-based urban design and landscape architecture firm Civitas and W Architecture and Landscape Architecture of New York has netted not one but two 2019 American Architecture Awards for the designers.



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2019 American Architecture Awards to Civitas and W for Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park in Tampa The American Architecture Awards, considered the nation’s highest public awards for new architecture and urban planning, are organised jointly by The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design and The European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies.  In selecting this year’s winners, judges looked to honour “the best and next contributions to innovative contemporary American architecture,” arriving at a list of projects that Christian Narkiewicz-Laine, President of the Chicago Athenaeum Museum, lauds as “Today’s celebrated award; tomorrow’s landmark.”
And among these, Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park in Tampa, Florida, co-designed by Civitas and W Architecture and Landscape Architecture, received the prestigious award for design excellence, with a second separate award given for the park’s River Center structure. The redevelopment of a 10-hectare and more Hillsborough River park, completed in 2018, was designed and constructed as the first project in the City of Tampa’s plan to regenerate the West Tampa riverfront and historic African-American and Latino neighbourhoods. 
This adds to the string of successes for Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park since it opened, with other recent honours for the work by Civitas and W Architecture and Landscape Architecture including a 2019 Design Award from the American Society of Landscape Architects, New York ASLA-NY (link).
Civitas conducted 40 one-on-one meetings with neighbourhood leaders and five interactive public meetings, responding to a populace that had been devastated in the wake of 1960s “urban renewal” and a once-loved park that had become a symbol of racial strife. The design team’s plan met the community’s desire for a grand space with views of the city for picnicking and lots of leisure amenities. The dramatic new River Center building designed by W Architecture and Landscape Architecture incorporates a city-run boathouse and a community centre.
In addition to its community-first design approach, Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park provides resiliency and sustainability to the riverfront. More than 100 live oak trees were retained, enhanced by raised walkways that invite a nature-in-the-city experience while protecting sensitive roots. A continuous waterfront quality filtration trench doubles as a placemaking feature and primary design element that follows the edge of the Great Lawn and offers a backdrop for the Grand Promenade while capturing stormwater onsite into vegetative swales. Likewise, the River Center’s distinctively swooping roof design channels runoff into a lush rain garden. This passive, sustainable measure filters the water through landscape and plant material to control and slow down its return to the river.
This project by Civitas of Denver and W Architecture and Landscape Architecture of New York very elegantly combines the needs of the community with resilient responses to the climate crisis. An award-winning result, as demonstrated by the latest recognition with two of the prestigious 2019 American Architecture Awards.

Christiane Bürklein 

Landscaping project: Civitas - http://civitasinc.com/
River Center project: W Architecture and Landscape Architecture
Location: West-Tampa, Florida, USA
Year: 2018
Images: Albert Vecerka, Civitas

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