Oncor, City Need Some Help Making Power Plant on Calatrava's West Side Look Nicer

design-competion_bridge1.jpg
Good timing: Later today, Leslie's cover story for the paper version of Unfair Park dealing with the city's involvement in efforts to thoughtfully (fingers crossed) redevelop West Dallas at the foot of the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge will hit newsstands virtual and otherwise. So happens, according to the announcement that just hit the in-box, that Brent Brown's City Hall-based CityDesign Studio has one very specific project already in mind -- a redo of the Oncor substation at the western foot of the Calatrava.

Today, as matter of fact, CityDesign Studio is launching a come-one-come-all "Power Art" competition in conjunction with Oncor, funded in part by that National Endowment for the Arts Mayors' Institute on Community Design 25th Initiative grant the studio received last summer. Stipends ranging from $5,000 to $8,000 will be doled out to the top three finishers, be they individuals or teams.

Here's the website laying out the who, when, what and what-for. Says there that ....
This design competition seeks to engage students and professionals in architecture, design, arts and other creative disciplines to begin to re-imagine potential visual appearances of public infrastructure. Public infrastructure such as water and power utilities such as substations provides much needed services. While the thought of having a substation in a community, close to our computers, ovens or televisions, is not appealing for most residents, this infrastructure plays a very critical role in our everyday life. In areas where these currently exist, how do we begin to integrate art and design into these key infrastructure elements to enhance the public realm?

The objective of this competition shall be to examine creative, economical design solutions that enhance the arrival experience into the community while not compromising the sensitive engineering, safety and functional requirements fo the substation.
Registration closes June 29; entries are due July 8, with a public exhibit scheduled for late August.
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amandalbs
amandalbs

I will admit that as a designer, I hate it when companies create "contests" to get a bunch of speculative work, but really it seems like they are looking for creative ideas from people in the community. Isn't that what we want? Community involvement, rather than overpriced studies that get diluted and diluted and ultimately lead to ideas with no connection to the actual people affected? It's too late to merely complain about what SHOULD have happened. This is where we are now. This is our city. Why not participate and try to offer some solutions that have the potential to be really cool? 

scottindallas
scottindallas

My other problem with this is that a plan that spends a bunch of time on a silly miniature mock up will get better marks than a well thought out plan that is on paper.  There's little instructive in these mock-ups, they don't represent true due diligence.  Or, maybe the award will go to some idiotic computer program that shows Feb's Daffodil's and Summer's Crepe Myrtles all in bloom and evergreen. What sells isn't always good design and planning, it's fluff and sparkles in the sales pitch.

Harvey
Harvey

Damn.If they hadn't put that dirty word "professionals" in there I would have jumped on this like a hen on a June bug (pun intended).

This would have been fun.

Professional smessional, damn.

Anonymous
Anonymous

Maybe they can do the same crap job they did to make the Statler Hilton "pretty".

LaceyB
LaceyB

Put some stickers on it. Kids aren't busy this summer, and stickers are super cheap at Walgreens. Sticky fun, eh?

Oak Cliff Clavin
Oak Cliff Clavin

By "help", do the city and oncor mean a rate/tax hike so they can fund a $20M relocation?

thought so. 

sheik yerbouti
sheik yerbouti

Build some lofts over it like they have at Mockingbird Station. We could use some more residential places in the City. With all the people moving here we're gonna need it! I heard over the next 10 yrs something like 9,000 new inhabitants...we need more space for this huge influx!

CueCat
CueCat

No problem... Oncor will just pass the cost on to their customers. Has anyone else noticed how fast Oncor moved the power lines out from between the levees to the middle of Irving Boulevard? Amazing how fast that happened after the Miller/Leppert tollway coalition decided the power lines would destroy the ambiance of the Trinity Sewer Ditch. And guess who picked up the tab for that.  Natch, Oncor customers.

scottindallas
scottindallas

When there's no competition, no way to boycott the service, the company has all the power--totally unlike the free market where these expenses would cripple a competitive firm.

Heywood U Buzzoff
Heywood U Buzzoff

Just cut to the case and get a bunch of 'graffiti artists' tag the Schultz out of it and save the time/money of the intermediate steps that the city will not maintain.  And I'd prefer a money order than a check!

Davidgjemison
Davidgjemison

How about Big Tex holding the World's Largest Croquet Mallet & Ball? Move over, Corn Palace, the 21st Century is here to stay.

MattL1
MattL1

I don't know, trees?  Could trees play a role in making stuff look nicer? 

scottindallas
scottindallas

Thank you, as a landscaper I'm reading this going, ok, you need plants?  What's to re-imagine? 

Guest
Guest

Yeah, wouldn't want to take anything away from the majestic beauty of that huge PVC pipe sticking out of the ground.

Lakewoodhobo
Lakewoodhobo

How about we focus on building the connection to Singleton now, instead of this, so that the bridge can open without yet another delay? As it is now, having the bridge open in March 2012 means the Continental Ave pedestrian park won't be open till March 2013 at the earliest. That really sucks.

Montemalone
Montemalone

Paint it emerald green, just like Oz.Problem solved.Send my check, please.

cynical old bastard
cynical old bastard

If the power station is an unsightly stain at the bottom of the bridge maybe they should have built a simpler bridge or built the bridge elsewhere?  Why is it always about image in this city.

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