Spokane Mayor's Urban Design Award Winners Announced

Julie Happy, 509.625.7773

Wednesday, October 25, 2017 at 10:33 a.m.

Winners of the Spokane Mayor’s Urban Design Awards were announced at an event held at the Saranac Commons recognizing every new project designed and built in Spokane.  The celebration of the design achievements happening throughout the City, highlighted the important opportunitities available for continued improvement of the community. 

“The Spokane Mayor’s Urban Design Awards recognize that every new project designed and built in Spokane is an important opportunity to continue improving the community,” said Mayor David Condon.  “It’s an opportunity to recognize the important role that high-quality and thoughtful design makes on the city’s quality of life. These awards help us identify some of the successes, and thank the people behind them.”

Prior to the award announcements, two design oriented nonprofits, Spokane Arts and You Express Studio, presented on their organization's work and talked about how they improve our public realm. Melissa Huggins of Spokane Arts presented on their Signal Box Project that wraps Traffic Signal Boxes with artworks from local contributing artists. Jose Barajas of You Express Studio (YES) spoke about the adoption of Spokane’s Parklet / Streetery Ordinance and the piloting of the program building three parklets over the last three years. A parklet is a small seating area or green space created as a public amenity on or alongside a sidewalk in a former roadside parking space.

Award Winners

The City's Design Review Board Members evaluated submissions against ten qualities of good urban design and provide recommendations to the Mayor's office. Mayor David Condon and Design Review Board Chair Austin Dickey recognized six projects and one individual with awards for their contributions to Spokane’s urban fabric.

Boone Avenue Retail Center received the Shrinking Lilac Award for a project that was not submitted for an award, but was considered an example of design excellence.

Kevin Twohig (the CEO of the Public Facilities District) received the Creative Citizen Award for his long commitment to improving the public realm.

The Heritage Project Award went to the South Perry Business District for igniting Spokane’s desire for walkable neighborhoods and pedestrian oriented development.

The People’s Choice Award went to the Spokane Falls CSO 26 Control Facility Plaza vision plan, which received the most votes both online and at River Park Square between September 18 and October 6. 

The first Urban Design Merit Award went to ALSC Architects for the Spokane Transit Authority Plaza Building Renovation. The building’s safety and user experience was greatly improved by the programmatic changes and restructuring of the building’s public spaces.

The second Urban Design Merit Award went to SPVV Landscape Architects for the WSU Spokane Pharmaceutical & Biomedical Sciences Building and Plaza. This exterior plaza artfully grafts together the Nursing, Health Sciences, and Pharmaceutical & Biomedical Sciences buildings on the WSU Campus with a rich landscape that offers a diversity of northwest flora, character elements, and contextual materials.

The highest honor the Mayor’s Choice Award went to ALSC Architects and Centennial Properties for their Urban Outfitters / STCU / Rocket Bakery Building. The building exemplifies what good urban design should be. The building extends the brick details from the surrounding historic building and artfully juxtaposes these with a streamlined contemporary aesthetic.

Connections through both retail spaces to the quasi-public mall promenade, via stairs, have proven crucial to the project’s success. Further, the unique, vertically & horizontally integrated, shared tenant space between Rocket Bakery and STCU Bank extends the hours that this connection can remain open to the public.  A result of the design is inherent flexibility and connectivity.

A large mural on the interior northern wall of the Rocket Bakery / STCU Bank tenant space is clearly visible from the street, lending an additional artistic quality to the character to the surrounding district while enhancing the place-making experience. This wonderful and innovative project improves Spokane’s quality of life and adds a context sensitive modern aesthetic to Spokane’s downtown.

For More Info

Visit the awards web page (http://bit.ly/2pm6Ncu) view all of the past awards recipients and to learn more about the qualities that contribute to good urban design.