HB:BX is an open international ideas competition to design an arts center that culturally reinforces the physical connection between the Manhattan and Bronx Highbridge communities of New York City. This competition is hosted by the Emerging New York Architects Committee (ENYA), AIA New York Chapter, in cooperation with Artists Unite and the Bronx Museum of the Arts, and it is meant to draw awareness to the current efforts to restore and reopen the bridge. This competition is a forum to explore the urban and community improvement that may come with the achievement of such a momentous milestone. Thus, ENYA challenges emerging architects and designers to explore how disused historic structures can be reprogrammed into vibrant urban centers. Competition entrants are also challenged to rethink the relationship between infrastructure (aqueduct, railway, highway) and it's urban context. These architectural issues, universally relevant to any growing city, take on a more site-specific nature when considering the historic importance of the High Bridge and the topographic challenge posed by the steep riverbanks of the Harlem River. Also grounding this competition to itslocal context are the unique clients who ask the entrants to reconsider architecture's role in the creation, displaying of and experience of art. The competition expects entrants to use the program as a connector to bridge the ideological gap between such two different arts organizations as Artists Unite and the Bronx Museum of the Arts with the local residents.
Another one of ENYA's objectives is to generate a discourse about universal urban issues that are currently relevant in New York City. The competition is designed to generate a spectrum of possible solutions. To achieve this goal, entries will be judged upon the following loose criteria:
- Does the entry attempt the unexpected and redefine boundaries?
- Is implementation of the program and fulfillment of the programmatic and site objectives evident in the building form?
- Does the proposal maximize the unique setting and location of the site?
ENYA Competition Objectives
The formalized goals for the HB:BX program include:
- Providing emerging designers with the opportunity to explore their own design sensibilities while tackling complex urban challenges.
- Provoking continued political and/or architectural discourse.
- Filling a void within the community by working with authentic organizations and impacting the community in a positive way to inspire momentum for community activism.
- Attracting the interest of a wide range of individuals (not just those within the architectural profession) on a local and international level.
- Being grounded in the context of New York City.