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“Make A Place” with the 2015 AIA Phoenix Metro Design Competition.

The 2015 design competition asks entrants to formulate an innovative program for a theoretical project on a site located in Downtown Phoenix in the Warehouse District between Central Avenue and 1st Avenue, south of Jackson and north of Buchanan.

makeaplace competition_AIA

Downtown Phoenix and the Warehouse District to the south lack meaningful connection enjoyed by most adjoining districts. Over the past decade, attempts have been made to connect these two districts that are divided by rail line. Today, land is being amassed for large-scale development along this boundary.

This development will most likely occur on the Warehouse District side and will probably be comprised of low to mid-density housing. This is a critical point in time when, once development starts, a cascade of independent (yet similar in approach and marketability) projects will most likely follow. At this critical point, this competition is calling for creative and visionary proposals that can inspire and educate our community and developers alike.

“Make a Place” ​is a competition that asks entrants to formulate an innovative program for a theoretical project on a site located upon this boundary. Critically, entrants must clearly define at least one problem that they hope to address.

The entrant’s assessment of the problem(s) facing this site is not limited to this brief’s assessment (lack of connection between the two districts) and may in fact stand in direct contradiction to it. Entrants are allowed to propose any use or program for this project that they feel best addresses the problem(s) they have identified.

While not mandatory, entrants are encouraged to explore some or all of the following: mixed-use development that includes residential, commercial and public spaces, the automobile underpass conditions at Central and 1st, pedestrian access and quality, incorporate or modify the proposed light rail extension through this area and strengthening of community identity.


Entrants will not be limited by actual zoning laws or overlays. Entrants are asked to present their ideas through a concise written description and a single digital board that elegantly conveys their project. This competition is intentionally open-ended and entrant directed. Entrants are asked to be as visionary or pragmatic as they see fit in both identifying and answering the issues they see facing this specific area of Phoenix.

Entries will be judged on the clarity in which they present the relevance of their proposed site issues and how effectively they design and communicate solutions to these issues. The winning entry will be thoughtful, well conceived, graphically communicative and inspirational to not only architects but the community at large.

Find full details for the competition here.


_ An entrant may be an individual or team.
_ This competition is open to everyone and anyone who wishes to register.
_ Members of the jury and organizing staff are not able to participate.

The entry form can be found on the AIA Phoenix Metro’s website at: aia phoenixmetro.org/design-events/
This will be a blind jury. Once registered, entrants will use only the entry number provided to them to identify their presentation board and written description.
$100 entry fee for non-members
$75 entry fee for AIA members and students
(in the case of a team entrant, only one member need be a student or AIA member)

Competition Launch / start of Q&A period: FRIDAY 19 June 2015
Close of Q&A period: 24 July 2015 (noon) – once registered all entrants will be included in a group email where any questions raised by individual entrants will be answered and published via email to the entire group.

Registration Deadline: 31 July 2015 (noon)
Submission Deadline: Monday, 17 August 2015 (noon)
04 September 2015: Jury meets / closed door
09 September 2015: Finalist list emailed to all entrants
03 October 2015: Winner announced at the AIA AZ AWARDS GALA
Select work to be displayed for public consideration and comment through end of year


First Place – $3,000 + (invitation and 2 tickets to AIA Gala)
Second and Third Place – bragging rights and honorable mentions + (invitation and 2 tickets each to AIA Gala)

Images: AIA Phoenix Metro