Goethe-Institut Design Competition Call for Entries

The Goethe-Institut Washington announces a competition to create an identity design for the façade of its building in Chinatown. Design entry deadline: October 15, 2010. A panel of expert Washington-area designers and architects will judge the entries. The winner will receive a $1000 prize and the top five submissions will be displayed at the Goethe-Institut and included in our 20th anniversary festivities in December 2010. The twin goals of this project are to highlight the Institut’s location more creatively and to make its function and purpose more visible and inviting to the public.

Goethe-Institut is the German cultural center that organizes a wide range of arts-related events such as films, art shows, poetry readings and discussions, as well as providing German language classes. It is a private non-profit organization with its headquarters in Munich.

The Institut seeks to update its exterior – through creative design of the window space, awnings and outdoor banners -- to present a face to the community that is more compelling, and reflecting the contemporary aesthetic of German culture. The end result should integrate the objectives of the Institut into a new façade that is inviting both from the interior and exterior during the day and at night.

Located at the intersection of Seventh and I Streets, the Goethe-Institut Washington has a prominent position in the historically important Chinatown neighborhood of the District. The area’s rich Chinese and German cultural heritage serves as a backdrop for the crowds who work, shop, dine and visit the museums and entertainment venues around Gallery Place.

The Institut occupies the first two floors of the building and has just over 100 feet of frontage running along 7th and I Streets. There are floor-to-ceiling windows regularly spaced along both floors. These windows can serve as a frame for any genre of innovative artwork and design that also allows for some flexibility, e.g., posters, wall hangings, lighting installments, window treatments, LCD screens/monitors, videos and/or other technological installations. The existing two-yard-high canvas banners hanging outside the building can be changed as well. Any innovative design that meets our criteria is welcome!

The Goethe-Institut’s red brick building, with its Art Deco-inspired features, is subject to DC historic preservation guidelines. While this law prohibits any alteration of the structure, our proposed changes offer a great opportunity for innovative creative design.

The Goethe-Institut Washington invites all interested parties to submit a design for this project on or before October 15, 2010.

Submission process: Digital submissions only (pdf or jpeg documents) to GoetheFacade@gmail.com. Your drawings should be detailed renderings of your design concept with information on materials required, but we do not require production-ready blueprints at this stage. Please identify drawings as “Goethe Façade Design Competition 2010”. Your submission may be accompanied by a written description in a Word document.

All enquiries about this project should be directed to: Holly Rodgers Wescott at GoetheFacade@gmail.com or by phone: 781 361 5144.

For more information on the activities of the Goethe-Institut Washington, please see our website: www.goethe.de/washington


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