Members of Mirvac’s design team have claimed the top prize in the 2018 Urban Innovation Ideas Competition, organised by the Urban Land Institute (ULI). Bohan Jones, HJ Yoon, Will Cai and Linda Lin who conceived the winning scheme - dubbed 'Reflective Lane' - received $2,000 for their efforts and will travel to Shanghai to present their proposal at the ULI 2019 Asia Pacific Conference.
The 2018 Competition sought innovative ideas from students and young professionals within the industry which enhanced the streetscapes within the north-west corner of Melbourne CBD, bound by La Trobe, William, Bourke and Spencer streets. The Competition received 42 entries.
The area has experienced significant development with the completion of the Upper West Side development on the site of the former Lonsdale Street powerstation, and the neighbouring West Side Place across the road. Other projects include Amber, Aspire, 640 Bourke Street and 556-558 Lonsdale Street.
Reflective Lane proposes a public arts program in selected laneways that would seek to enrich them and unite members of various communities together by showcasing local stories and artistic responses across a range of social, cultural and ecological themes.
According to the Competition Jury, Reflective Lane was awarded first place due to its ability to impact the area, which currently lacks activity and vibrancy, through new experiences, but also embodied the ethos of the competition and the organisation, which focuses on boldness, innovation and the sharing of new concepts. Further it also highlighted the importance of ideas and innovation from younger generations.
The announcement of the winner marks the end of Stage Two of the Competition which ran for the duration of October. As part of the Stage Two process the three shortlisted finalists were required to further develop and refine their schemes. The two other finalists were ‘Welcome to Melbourne’ – Fabian Culican, Kavita Sonar, Shelley Black and Simon Zhao from Tract Consultants and ‘Mixed Collectivo’ – Lindy Huang, a student at University of Melbourne; and Marc Schmailz, a student at Technical University of Munich.
The submission ‘Mixed Collectivo’ was awarded the prize for best student entry at the conclusion of Stage 1 of the Competition in late September. The popular vote winner was also announced, as decided by the public, and was awarded to ‘Celebration: Park, Street, Laneway’ comprising University of Hong Kong students Wong Lap Man, Kam Destiny and Kwong Yuk Chun.
The jury saw design-based propositions from the majority of entrants, but the winners took an experienced-based approach to enliven and enrich through stories and connections.
This submission stood out because it shows a singular cultural and creative approach to changing the experience and perception of this area. It recognised the power of creative activity, supporting artists’ place in their own communities and building international connectivity through the process.
The concept of Reflective Lane would uplift the community and create value to the urban fabric, highlighting the positive impact of arts and culture on cities and precincts. The ULI is about people who want to come together and share for the collective benefit of the cities in which we live.
The winning proposal stood out in emphasising that change was not just affected by urban design and built form but by the programming and activation you can apply within the built form.
- David McCracken, ULI Australia Executive Director and Jury Chair
Through the competition we are interested in thought and the idea that something could actually happen. Deep critical thinking to us is the real essence of where the future may go and we are really proud of everyone’s efforts in the competition.
- Roger Nelson, NH Architecture (Competition sponsor)