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Studio Gang reveal 'transformational' concept to revitalise Memphis riverfront

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Architecture and urban designers Studio Gang have revealed a “transformational” concept for the future of Memphis’ waterfront, which would see new leisure amenities introduced across six miles and five distinct zones along the Mississippi river.

A cultural pavilion, a live music stage, an adventure playground, several trails and an elevated walkway across the city’s native wetlands are all proposed for the site over the short, medium, and long-term.

Investment ideas have been grouped around three principles: to foster positive encounters, civic pride and identity; to restore natural conditions, native ecology, and a more dynamic relationship between people and the river; and to connect assets along the river, the riverfront to the city, and people with each other.

Studio Gang’s strategy – which covers the districts of Fourth Bluff, Mud Island, Tom Lee Park, MLK Park, and Greenbelt Park – was shaped by more than 4,500 survey responses from citizens and multiple public events and site visits.

“The concept offers a series of actionable ideas meant to help the riverfront achieve its potential as a shared, connected civic space for all Memphians to enjoy,” said Gia Biagi, principal of urbanism and civic impact at the practice.

The project was commissioned for city mayor Jim Strickland’s Riverfront Task Force by the Riverfront Development Corp, with support from the Hyde Family Foundation and the Kresge Foundation.

“The riverfront is a great opportunity for a transformational public-private partnership between business, government and philanthropy,” said Strickland, who will now evaluate the concept, seek additional public consultation, and determine which ideas are feasible to execute.

Studio Gang founder Jeanne Gang was interviewed in the Q2 issue of CLADmag, and she revealed that her practice are committed to only taking on projects with the potential to act as a force for good.

“That’s the reason I work,” she said. “Although it gives me a thrill to see something come to physical reality, it’s all about moving us forwards in terms of community and wellbeing. It’s not about manifestos. It’s about trying to understand the world that we’re all inhabiting; trying to make sense of it and put our work in the place where it can actually do something.”

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Architecture and urban designers Studio Gang have revealed a “transformational” concept for the future of Memphis’ waterfront, which would see new leisure amenities introduced across six miles and five distinct zones along the Mississippi river.
CLD,ARC,DES,ECO
The concept offers 'a series of actionable ideas meant to help the riverfront achieve its potential as a shared, connected civic space' / Studio Gang
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