‘Zenabuki Village’ at downtown Boise’s eastern edge vision of ‘innovate@boisestate’ winners
Published: April 5,2010
A theoretical development billed by its team of creators as “a dynamic, residential community for students and young professionals” won the top innovate@boisestate prize Friday night.
A panel of community judges awarded first place to “Zenabuki Village,” a circular four-building mixed-use development at the intersection of Front and Myrtel streets and Broadway Avenue on the east end of downtown Boise. Judges praised the proposal’s focus on multigenerational housing, its intriguing architectural concept, its feasibility and the evidence compiled by the five-member team of Boise State University undergraduates that conceived of the project. Judges also liked the plan’s inclusion of housing for Boise State students.
“This was the most innovative of the five proposals,” said Rich Raimondi, a retired Hewlett-Packard executive and president of Bishop Kelly High School in Boise, who served as one of five judges.
Friday night’s award ceremony was the capstone to the intensive, week-long exercise at Boise State that was designed to challenge the students’ creative problem-solving, leadership and teamwork skills. The 25 participants were divided into five interdisciplinary teams and asked to formulate ideas on developing one of five downtown Boise “infill” properties in a manner that would help Boise become one of the nation’s most “livable” cities. The entire exercise took place over the university’s Spring Break holiday.
“This week was intended to be transformational for you,” said Sona Andrews, provost and vice president for academic affairs, to the participants at Friday’s ceremony. “I can see that you’ve learned a lot this week and we’ve learned a lot from you. You have plenty to be proud of as the inaugural class of innovate@boisestate.”
Andrews said that the program was designed as a pilot for more innovation exercises for students in the future.
“Our goal as a university is for every graduate to have the capacity to innovate at a high-level,” Andrews said. “It’s very important to us as a community, a nation and world.”
Zenabuki Village’s theoretical cost of $153 million included high-end condominiums, housing for Boise State students, ground level retail shops and community space, as well as office space. Team members Eric Schuler, Nicole Crosby, Emily Pearson, Brian Wright and Kelley Steen will split a $1,000 prize for their first place finish.
Second place went to a proposal dubbed “Urban-Outdoor Nirvana” by its team of creators. Bounded by Front and Myrtle streets and 9th and 15th streets near the I-184 Connector, this proposal included an alternative transportation hub, a concert house and room for retail and community space, including a children’s museum. Team members Tessa DeWhitt, Stephen Foster, Nicolas Jones, Robert Kuber and Jocelyn Stearns won a $500 prize.
Elements from other proposals included an “eco-urban” park partially built using recycled ship containers; a downtown building housing a Boise State “urban extention,” city government offices, and residential and office space; and a development centered around a natural history museum.
Over the five-day exercise, the sequestered teams collaborated to find workable solutions to the challenge. Students devoted 12 hours a day to the project and were paid a stipend of $800. Academic credit for participation also was be available.