Downtown Sebastopol (photo by Adam Jackson via Flickr)

Downtown Sebastopol (photo by Adam Jackson via Flickr)

The Core Project, an architectural competition sponsored by the Redwood Empire Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and a local group of merchants to revitalize Sebastopol’s Downtown Core, recently announced the registration deadline has been extended to Jan. 20, 2012;  submission deadline is Feb. 3, 2012.   The international design competition to intended to “generate innovative ideas for renewing the city center. The overarching intent is to explore how the physical presence of the city can become a more economically thriving and aesthetically vibrant place reflective of the natural beauty of the region, and the character of the community. Submissions will explore the ways a small, northern California city can transition from its agricultural past to a lively and sustainable future.”

The Core Project has also added a site-specific component by challenging entrants to envision the best use for certain strategic sites in downtown Sebastopol currently used as surface parking lots, such as the city-owned lots near the Veterans Memorial Building and adjacent to Hop Monk.

This project is separate from the City-sponsored Downtown Core planning process (currently on hold) that primarily addresses streetscape and street furniture improvements.

The Core Project will be a juried competition with cash prizes. There will be a public exhibition, and online publication of top award winners. A follow-up forum to determine possible implementation of design ideas is scheduled in 2012. A minimum of $500 in cash prizes will be awarded. Total amount of prize money available is subject to number of entries received and final number of contributing sponsors.

Competition details can found on the project’s website: http://the-core-project.org.

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