Sam Fox School accepting registrations for 2008 Steedman Traveling Fellowship Competition

$30,000 first place prize to support study abroad is largest of its kind in United States

The Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis is accepting registrations for its 2008 Steedman Traveling Fellowship Competition.

Granted since 1925, the biennial Steedman Fellowship is open to citizens of all countries with not more than eight years of experience following receipt of a professional degree in architecture. The competition carries a $30,000 first place award to support study and research abroad — the largest such award in the United States.

St. Louis Cold Storage Company
The former St. Louis Cold Storage Company, 1257-63 Lewis Street. Photo by William P. Wischmeyer, senior lecturer in architecture.

Participating architects will develop conceptual plans for the adaptive reuse of an abandoned St. Louis industrial building, located on the Mississippi riverfront just north of downtown and Eero Saarinen’s Gateway Arch. The building lies within an historic district currently undergoing redevelopment. Most of the buildings within the district are remnants of the city’s industrial past — specifically, power generation and cold storage for the river and railroad commerce of the early 20th century. With the exception of three historic facades, the 100,000-square-foot building is a blank slate for many uses, the choice of which will be left up to the competitor.

The project chosen for the 2008 Competition underscores the profound relationship between preservation and sustainability. For example, the adaptive reuse of historic structures conserves that energy already embodied in their construction. Moreover, preservation contributes to the revitalization of existing neighborhoods, a viable alternative to ever sprawling urban areas. Preservation is recycling writ large.

“The Steedman competition offers an opportunity to develop a proposal for an architecture of enduring cultural and aesthetic relevance set in an historically significant urban setting slated for redevelopment and within a National Register Historic District,” notes jury chairman Lawrence Scarpa, principal of Pugh + Scarpa in Santa Monica.

“Entries will include a proposal for programming pointedly specific to the present moment and immediate future, while addressing the eventual re-use of the building. A comprehensive sustainable approach to the design will be required.”

The registration deadline is Jan. 29, 2008. The competition brief will be published Jan. 31, with the deadline for entries March 13. Winners will be announced March 29.

In addition to Scarpa, jurors include:

  • Peter Davey, former editor of The Architectural Review in London
  • Architect/urbanist Hashim Sarkis, who has offices in Beirut and Cambridge, Mass.
  • Nader Tehrani, partner at Office dA in Boston as well as an associate professor of architecture at MIT
  • Ken Yeang, principal of Hamzah & Yeang Architects in Malaysia
  • Author/theorist Wilfried Wang, co-founder of Hoidn Wang Architects in Berlin as well as the O’Neil Ford Centennial Professor in Architecture at the University of Texas at Austin.

The Steedman Fellowship is supported by an endowment — given to the Sam Fox School’s College of Architecture and Graduate School of Architecture & Urban Design — in honor of James Harrison Steedman, who received a degree in mechanical engineering from Washington University in 1889. The memorial was established by Steedman’s widow, Mrs. Alexander Weddel, and Steedman’s brother, George.

For more information about the Steedman Fellowship or for registration materials, visit