Competition announced: NETWORK RESET: Rethinking the Chicago Emeral Necklace

NETWORK RESET: Rethinking the Chicago Emerald Necklace is an international competition organized by MAS Studio and Chicago Architectural Club

The following text is from MAS Studio's website:

MAS Studio and the Chicago Architectural Club are pleased to announce the competition: NETWORK RESET, a single-stage international competition that seeks to provide ideas and actions that can reactivate the Boulevard System of Chicago and rethink its potential role in the city.
Proposed by John S. Wright in 1849, the system was envisioned twenty years later when the State Legislature established the South, West, and Lincoln Park Commissions. Also referred as the "Emerald Necklace" since the 1893 World Columbian Exposition, it is composed by a series of streets and parks, some of them designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and William Le Baron Jenney. After the mid-twentieth century, the lack of proper funding, the split of management of the system as a whole (parks would be managed separately from the streets) and the migration of residents to the suburbs of its, such as the Logan Square Boulevards District (an official city landmark district since 2005) still maintain the original character, other parts have just become underutilized areas and oversized streets that act as barriers within neighborhoods.

That is where we are now and this competition asks you to envision where we can be in the near future. These are some of the questions that we are asking ourselves and we want you to think about in your proposal: What if the system becomes a new transportation corridor in the city? What type of transportation would that be? What if the open space becomes an active layer and not just a passive one? What if this system provides activities that the city as a whole is lacking? What if the system becomes a tool for social cohesion? What if the system has a strong visual identity? What if it becomes an economic catalyst for the neighborhoods? What if the system is all of this and more?

Participants are asked to look at the urban scale and propose a framework for the entire boulevard system as well as provide answers and visualize the interventions at a smaller scale that can directly impact its potential users. Through images, diagrams and drawings we want to know what are those soft or hard, big or small, temporary or permanent interventions that can reactivate and reset the Boulevard System of Chicago.

The results of this competition will be announced in March 2011. A jury of notable professions and academics will decide a first, second and third prize as well as three honorable mentions. All entries will be published in the forthcoming issue of the design journal MAS Context.

NETWORK RESET is made possible in part by the generous support of Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture LLP.

Competition launched, registration and Questions & Answers are only online —>  Monday January 12, 2011.
Deadline for competition queries is 12:00 (Chicago time) —> February 4, 2011.
Submission deadline. Online Registration and Submission Periods Close —> Monday February 21, 2011.
Winners will be announced —> Monday March, 14, 2011.

For detailed information on Current composition, criteria for evaluation, eligibility, anonymity/ownership, submission materials, submission process, jury, prizes, entry fee, etc., please check MAS Studio website.

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