Design Philosophy: The residents of Lafayette need a downtown that allows them to celebrate the rich cultural fabric of their city each day of the year in addition to the established traditional celebrations.
Currently, the closed gates of the city’s parks and the limited walkability of the streets leave the people of Lafayette looking for the party. The sights, smells, and sounds of celebration that come along with events like Mardi Gras, the Crawfish Festival, and others can become part of daily life for people of Lafayette.
Connecting Parc International and Parc Sans Souci with a new Children’s Museum makes both of these public spaces more successful and increases residents’ ownership of these spaces. By opening the gates of Parc International, this truly public space can be enlivened with celebrations on a daily basis in addition to the traditions and celebrations already established in Lafayette.
Addressing the issue of connection and access, we delineate exciting, celebratory paths that connect the adjacent neighborhoods and the University to the downtown core. Because it is nearly impossible to create new railroad crossings, we focused on mitigating the sense of the railroad as a barrier by improving the existing connections with pedestrian access and wayfinding strategies. These new connections to the public transit hub encourage ridership and enable easier access to the downtown core.
With the paths laying the framework, infill focused on bringing vital life to downtown. We develop the pedestrian culture, bring more activity to the street, and decrease the need for commuter parking by adding housing downtown and making it a 24/7 space for living. The infill in the mixed use area is composed of affordable housing solutions on the second and third floor with outdoor spaces and flexible space on the first floor that could serve as retail, restaurant, small business office, art studio, or workshop. These spaces allow for the development of the streets and the growth of the community as Lafayette grows its downtown into a dynamic cultural and economic center.
We stimulate economic growth through increased and improved pedestrian circulation, an improved parking scenario, bike access and parking and creating new destinations to encourage pedestrian traffic. With these improvements, downtown Lafayette can be more than just “Where Lafayette Happens.” Instead, it becomes “Where Lafayette Celebrates!”
More information available at: https://www.facebook.com/ImagineDowntownLafayette
Kristin Slavin - Project Designer
Krystan Menne - Designer
Joni Hanson - Project Designer
*Independent Competition Entry
Los Angeles, California