Ideas to Outmode the Strip Mall

In a contest sponsored by the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, architecture firms nationwide competed to show off how they would best use land currently devoted to strip malls. Bustler provides the winning entries.

"Strip malls define our streetscapes. Here, and in suburbs across the country, strip malls are a fact of life. They are the wallflowers of thousands of streetscapes that millions of people travel daily. To envision a new future for this lowly (yet overabundant) building stock, the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMoCA) initiated the national competition 'Flip a Strip' in late 2007 that resulted in 35 innovative proposals by architectural teams from around the country, for flipping local strip malls in Scottsdale, Tempe and Phoenix, AZ. What potential might there be for live/work developments, urban farming, social spaces and signature architecture in the no-man's land of the strip mall? Flip a Strip posits exciting opportunities to turn this suburban cliché inside out."

Full Story: Winners in “Flip a Strip” Mall Redesign Contest Announced



Flip it back!

Explain again how overscaled, windowless forms with huge vinyl adverts is good urban form. There's a reason this stuff never gets built.

No. 1 "converting the alley into part of an urban infrastructure" Last I checked, alleys are already part of an urban infrastructure. That screen is yet another example of "armagedd-itecture"(tm)

No. 2 No parking. Trees planted in wells amongst huge paved areas. A big scaffold pole sign with mega-media on it. Huh?

No. 3 Windowless accordian-walled buildings. Again, with the mega-media.

No. 4 Even that little Dairy Queen is snickering at this one. That's one bumper sticker too many.

No. 5 Sunlight? What's that? Quick, hide under here.

No. 6+ Same thing. I'm losing faith in modern architecture. What happened to form? There is way too much "signature" and not enough style.

My $.02.

Your City As Contemporary Art

It is what I would expect when a "Museum of Contemporary Art" runs the competition.

Note that the article describes them as "innovative proposals." The point isn't whether they are good places to live but whether they are innovative enough to attract attention to themselves.

Of course, the CNU has done much better work on transforming malls into main streets.

Charles Siegel

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