Three finalists were invited to develop their ideas for new public spaces on a former General Motors site in Indianapolis. Developer Ambrose Property Group partnered with Exhibit Columbus and the Central Indiana Community Foundation to create a shortlist of studios to develop specific areas of Waterside. This is a massive redevelopment of the former $ 1.4 billion GM stamping plant.
The teams selected are: 1) Hood Design Studio with Thomas Phifer and Partners and Arup; 2) SCAPE with SO-IL, Guy Nordenson and coworkers, James Lima Planning + Development, Art Strategies, Nelson Nygaard and Manuel Miranda Practice; and 3) Snøhetta with Moody Nolan, Arup, HR & A, Art Strategies and Chris Wangro. According to the announcement, the finalists were selected based on their experience working on projects of similar size and scale, as well as their design acumen.
Map of the planned waterside district with Crane Bay in a central location. (Screenshot from Hello Waterside website / Courtesy Ambrose Property Group)
Waterside was announced by Ambrose last year as the new downtown district on the site of the former GM plant that has not been in use since the auto company’s bankruptcy nearly a decade ago. (The same site has also been suggested by Indiana officials as a potential Amazon HQ2 hub). It would include 1,350 residential units, 620 hotel rooms, 2.75 million square meters of office space and 100,000 square meters of retail space with a planned development time of 15 years. The Waterside Design Competition focuses on the adaptive reuse of 25,000 square feet of the Crane Bay designed by Albert Kahn. the design of a public space around Crane Bay; and a pedestrian link across the White River to connect the site to the urban core of Indianapolis.
The three teams will present their design philosophies and approaches to the public on June 12th in Indianapolis. Later in October they will present their conceptual plans and the winner will be determined by a panel of community stakeholders and national experts.