Flip a Strip Design Competition

Flip a Strip Design Competition

Open / Invited, International

Phoenix, Arizona

31 Mar 2008 – Submission Deadline


Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art


Open / Invited, International


Phoenix, Arizona




5 Jan 2008 – Competition and Website Launch

31 Mar 2008 – Submission Deadline

Spring 2008 ? Finalists Announced

Oct 2008 ? Winner Announced/Exhibition Opens


Participating teams must be led by an architect with at least five years professional experience.


Aaron Betsky, architectural critic, Director of the Cincinnati Museum of Art

Julie Eizenberg, Koning Eizenberg Architecture

Merrill Elam, Mack Scogin Merrill Elam Architects

Richard E. Eribas, former Dean of Architecture, University of Arizona

Grady Gammage, Land Use Lawyer / Planning Specialist


First Prize $8,000

Second Prize $4,000

Third Prize $2,000




Competition coupled with an exhibition aimed at fostering creative, new ideas for the reinvigoration/reuse of the small-scale strip shopping plazas. In oversupply yet vastly underused, strip plazas from a generation ago define the streetscapes of many towns. Many are dilapidated eyesores. Yet many are home to small restaurants, sole proprietorships and mom-and-pop businesses that can be wonderfully unique, entrepreneurial concerns, highly responsive to community needs. Strip malls breed strange and wonderful bedfellows (a yoga studio next to pet grooming next to a mattress store, for example), yet are plagued by interspersed vacant storefronts and generic design. With ample parking and adjacent to thriving neighborhoods, these strip malls have great potential for adaptive re-use and architectural upgrades. They are an undervalued and neglected building stock. This competition will look at options for making strip malls economically viable, aesthetic interesting and communally meaningful.

Participants can select one model site from among three sites that have been submitted by city planners from the municipalities of Scottsdale, Tempe and Phoenix, Arizona. Detailed information will soon be posted on the web site. The goal of the competition is to generate ideas that better the quality of civic life.