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Withers Swash District Plan in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina by inFORM studio
November 13th, 2011 by Sanjay Gangal
Article source: inFORM studio
Commonly referred to as Withers Swash; the Withers Estuary embodies so much of the spirit and soul of Myrtle Beach. Almost universally, tourists and residents alike appreciate the natural ecology of the region, particularly the beaches, which are all intrinsically connected to Withers.
The Withers Swash District Concept Plan proposes a restorative design approach to a stressed environment. Considerations given to the design process include a healthy storm water system, appropriate urban densities with green design strategies, an active/passive park system, preservation of cultural heritage, and a diversification of economies for the City of Myrtle Beach.
The city of Myrtle Beach is poised to embrace a dramatic shift in development to a planning approach that presents a more comprehensive approach to sustainable living. Unique not only because of its tourism context, Myrtle Beach presents an environment with unparalleled challenges and opportunities for a synthesized approach to planning and design.
The intent for the conceptual development of a Withers Swash District Plan is to repurpose an environmentally stressed region of the city into a highly sustainable, ecologically rich park environment; and recognize and preserve the historical significance and heritage of the region. The resulting green space should integrate a sustainable approach to storm water management, create qualitative green space for the surrounding residents and provide a catalyst for neighborhood revitalization and interconnectivity for the district. Implementing an integrated approach, the planning process includes a comprehensive strategy creating opportunities to address transportation, land use, community connectivity, preservation of cultural heritage, economic catalysts, and development density.
An important aspect of the planning process for the City of Myrtle Beach is the inclusion of relevant collaborating entities and stakeholders whose input and support are critical as a part of this process. Several classifications of stakeholders were identified for input into this process and include: Residential Impact Group, Commercial Impact Group, Governmental Impact Group, Environmental Impact Group, and a District Planning Advisory Committee (DPAC).
inFORM studio is a Woman-owned, WBE certified, design based practice with three offices in Detroit, Michigan, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and New York City. Each office is fully integrated and collaborates with teams set for each project that span all three locations.
Formed in March 2000, Van Tine|Guthrie Studio of architecture quickly earned a reputation for the progressive work of the three principals, Michael L. Guthrie, Kenneth R. Van Tine, and Gina Van Tine. The firm has received continued peer recognition and community attention for design excellence in acquiring numerous state and local AIA Honor Awards, authoring the winning entry for the Bagley Street Pedestrian Bridge as part of the $120 million Michigan Department of Transportation Ambassador Gateway Project and in June of 2003, was selected as one of eight international finalists out of 1,557 entries to present at the Grand Egyptian Museum Competition Symposium in Cairo, Egypt.
In 2004 the firm was invited to participate, as one of 30 firms from around the world, in the prestigious Canadian Museum of Human Rights competition and recently received an honorable mention in the world-wide competition for the Museum of Contemporary Art and Planning Exhibition in Shenzhen, China. In late 2010, a 2-phase international competition involving 47 firms from around the world was held to select an iconic pedestrian bridge design for the city of Providence, Rhode Island.
The proposal submitted by inFORM studio was selected as the winning entry and is slated for completion in 2013. In an effort to pursue a higher level of research and immerse our practice in an environmentally sustainable approach to every project, the firm formally changed the name to inFORM studio in early 2007. In March 2011, inFORM studio was selected as AIA Michigan Firm of the Year.
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Category: Urban Design