Louisville Children’s Museum Competition
Revitalization of a Downtown Edge
Designing a Louisville Children’s Museum, Revitalizing a Downtown Edge
Designing a Louisville Children’s Museum, Revitalizing a Downtown Edge
, is an in-
ternational ideas competition sponsored by the local chapters of the Construction Specifica-
tions Institute (CSI) and the American Institute of Architects (AIA). Lousiville is one of the few
cities of its size without a museum dedicated specifically to children between the ages of 2-13,
and this museum is to be considered as a model to fill that vacuum.
The choice of this site for the competition is intended to address the following issues:
• Located next to the city’s main public library, the museum could draw on the large numbers
of children accompanied by their parents visiting the library.
• Until now, most of the development and investment in the city has been concentrated in the
downtown area bordering the Ohio River. More recently, the City of Louisville has begun to tar-
get the area at the edge of the downtown core for revitalization, starting with Broadway, and
extending south to Old Louisville. Although the area does include some important institutions,
such as Spalding University, Bridgehaven Mental Health Services, numerous churches and hous-
ing for the elderly, it lacks in density and urban activity. By implementing a strong program at
the edge, with the Children’s Museum as an iconic arrival factor, and the addition of important
design elements across Second Street to fill two gaps now used as parking lots, this project
could be an important building block for neighborhood revitalization, over and beyond the tar-
geted site. Bringing more traffic to the site should eventually result in more retail and commer-
cial amenities.
The competition, open to both professionals and students, will seek innovative ideas, both in the
programmatic organization of the museum itself, as well as in the building’s architectural ex-
pression. In addition, circulation throughout the entire site and the museum’s relationship to its
neighbor, i.e., the main library and the other designated buildings in the program, is essential.
The sponsors of the competition are the local chapters of the American Institute of Architects (AIA)
and the Construction Specification Institute (CSI). The competition manager is The Competition
Project, Inc., based in Louisville, Kentucky.
The Competition Organizing Committee consists of:
• Lawrence J. Timperman, AIA, Michell Timperman Ritz Architects, New Albany, Indiana
• Brian Koetter, AIA, Stengel-Hill Architecture, Louisville, Kentucky
• Sarah Easton, ASID, CSI Representative, The Sherwin-Williams Company
• G. Stanley Collyer, PhD, Hon. AIA, Editor, COMPETITIONS
English is the official language of the competition for all questions and documents
The competition is open to design professionals and students currently registered in accredited
schools of architecture programs in their country of residence in the areas of architecture, land-
scape architecture, engineering and planning. Teams including all or part of the above are welcome.
Student teams should include no more than six(6) members. Students are required to validate resi-
dence in an accredited institutional program in any of the above disciplines upon registration. As
jury members are not local, and the process is anonymous, AIA and CSI members belonging to the
local chapters may enter. If any juror recognizes any entry, they are required to recluse themselves
from voting on that particular entry.
Competition Announcement 15 August 2013
Competition brief available 15 August 2013
End of Q & A period 15 January 2014
Registration deadline 10 February 2014
Submission Deadline 10 February 2014 (5:00 p.m. Eastern Time)
Jury session/Announcement of winners 18 February 2014
The competition is part of the AIA CSI Annual Trade Fair in Louisville and will be adjudicated
anonymously at the Kentucky International Convention Center during that event. Entries from the
final round will then be on exhibit at Museum Hotel 21c in downtown Louisville, the highest traffic
art gallery in the region.
First Prize $6,000
Second Prize $3,000
Third Prize $1,000
Honorable Mentions (3)
Note: Before any prize money is awarded to a student or student team, a determination will be
made that the students are enrolled in a certified program of studies in one of the related fields.
*The awards can be shared and/or adjusted at the discretion of the jury. The total amount of the
awards will not be affected by any adjustments.*
Registration Fees and Procedure
Professionals $75
Student teams $60 (Teams are allowed only one submission per fee)
Individual students $30
Those who wish to enter the competition will receive the full competition brief digitally upon fol-
lowing the registration procedure and payment of the registration fee. They will simultaneously be
provided with a registration number, which will then be used to identify their entry throughout the
competition process. If an additional entry is submitted, it must be accompanied by payment of an
additional fee. Each submission must have its own assigned number, without duplication.
Sylvia Smith, FAIA, Senior Partner, FxFowle Architects, New York Office
Michael Speaks, AIA, Dean, School of Architecture, Syracuse University
Susan Szenasy, Editor, METROPOLIS magazine, New York
Carol Drucker, Principal, Drucker Zajdel Structural Engineers, Inc., Naperville, Illinois
Leigh Breslau, AIA, Trahan Architects, Chicago Studio
Marc LItalien, FAIA, Principal, EHDD, San Francisco
Kevin Fennell, AIA, GBBN, Louisville, KY
Brian Court, AIA, The Miller Hull Partnership, Seattle
Technical Jury
Lawrence Timperman, AIA, Michell Timperman Ritz Architects, New Albany, Indiana
Brian Koetter, AIA, Stengel-Hill Architecture, Louisville, Kentucky
Randall Reifsnider, CSI, AIA, Conspectus, Inc., Louisville Office
Special Considerations and Objectives
Although the Children’s Museum will be situated on Broadway facing a more traditional context of
architecture (The Brown Theater and St. Francis High School), the Louisville Free Public Library addi-
tion on Third Street directly to its south is of more recent vintage, resembling a combination of Mies
van der Rohe and the Boston City Hall. Across Third Street from the Library is the Luckett and Farley
building, reminiscent of Chicago-style architecture. In the absence of any unifying style within the
immediate environs, the architectural language of the museum should reflect recent advances in
modern design. Moreover, the new parking garage and HI-Tech buildings across the park area on
Second Street should in some way reference the architecture of the Children’s Museum, providing a
visual connective thread.
The Museum should have very modest or no setbacks bordering Broadway and Third Street. All ve-
hicular access to loading docks and underground parking should probably occur on the east side of
the building from Third Street—facing the Library. If vehicle access is situated to the south side of the
building, it should not detract from the appearance of the building, as seen from the library.
The main entrance to the Museum should ideally be located either on the east or south sides of the
building. It should not in any case be located on the west side, next to the Heyburn Building.
This project should be envisioned as the first building block in the revitalization and rethinking of an
important edge of the downtown core, which could ideally lead to further planning and investment
along the Second and Third streets corridor.
Design Challenge
The Children’s Museum will consist of a 5-level structure with one level below grade for parking.
Together with the other elements within the extended competition site, it will represent an impor-
tant arrival feature for that part of the city immediately to its south, an area the City has targeted
for revitalization, extending to St. Catherine Street at the northern edge of the Old Louisville neigh-
borhood. Besides the Museum parcel, the site itself will include three additional parking lots between
Third Street and Second Street. The parking lot across the street from the Museum on Third Street is
envisioned as a transitional park, leading to the other two parcels bordering Second Street. One of
these will be a 4-story parking garage, the other a 4- to 6-story high-tech incubator. All of the
structures should in some manner relate to each other in architectural expression, with the park
serving as an important link between the parking garage, the Museum and the Public Library. The
park is not envisioned as a potential playground area, though it might incorporate some reference(s)
to the Museum and the learning process.
In addition to the most up-to-date exhibits, the Museum itself should also include space for a Mu-
seum Shop, play space, auditorium, and administrative offices. Its appearance should be such, that it
stands apart from its neighbors as a Children’s Museum, and representationally cannot be confused
with corporate architecture. It should also incorporate the most current sustainability technology,
with a carbon neutral structure as the ultimate goal. Making this visually apparent to the visitor
would represent part of its educational mission.
The main internal circulation component of the Museum should be ramping. This is not only to facil-
itate easy access to exhibits on the different levels, but to avoid potential accidents leading to in-
juries, which might be more common with stairs.
Questions and Answers
Eligible Entrants may seek clarification of the information presented in these Instructions or the Of-
ficial Rules by submitting questions to the Competition Advisor. No questions may be addressed to
the Jury. All communications and/or questions must be in English. Questions may be emailed at any
time before January 15, 2014. Questions will be answered in the order they are received in a timely
fashion. All questions received by January 15, 2014 will be answered no later than January 20, 2014.
Any questions received after January 15, 2014 will not be answered.
Any changes to this document resulting from answers to the questions will become part of the pro-
gram.. All questions, answers, and resulting program clarifications will be posted and available to all
registrants on the Competition website and will be accessible to all Entrants through February 1, 2014.
Questions should be sent via email to: scollyer@competitions.org
How to Enter/Registration/Sending an Entry
The entry fees for the competition are as listed above. When registering as a team, a team leader
should be designated for communication purposes. Once an entrant has registered, a unique iden-
tification number will be assigned, which will serve as the code identifying the participant with the
entry throughout the competition. At that time, competitors will be furnished with the complete
competition brief with detailed information and resources.
Late entries will not be accepted for adjudication.
Important! Entries submitted within the geographical confines of the United States will be re-
quired to affix their sheets on two 40” x 30” foam core boards as described in the competition
Foreign entries should be sent in a tube, using the same measurements, thus reducing delays in
customs such packages might encounter and reducing the prohibitive shipping expense.
All entries should be accompanied by a digital file containing images to be used for a slide show. If
no such file is received, the entry will not be part of the slide show for public viewing at the Trade
Fair and at the subsequent exhibition. The digital file should be no more than 15 MB and can also
be emailed to the below address. In both cases, the code number should be noted.