Three Semi-Finalists Announced for Permanent Alleyway Transformation by Passageways 2.0

By Jessica York

With their recent announcement of three semi-finalists, the Passageways 2.0 competition gets one step closer to bringing our downtown a new and aesthetic place to gather.

Passageways is a joint program of AIA Tennessee and River City Company, an economic development engine for downtown Chattanooga, which seeks to bring new life to the alleyways of the city through art and architecture.

The first round of Passageways temporarily transformed four alleyways, and attracted the attention of not only local architects but also international ones, some as far away as Sydney, Australia.

“With such an overwhelmingly positive response to the first round of Passageways, we knew we had to continue this program,” says Kim White, President and CEO of River City Company. “Instead of creating more temporary alleyways, we heard from the community how exciting it would be to have a permanent alleyway with art, light and activity. And while we work to launch this new lasting alleyway piece, we are also working to maximize the life and use of the temporary alleys from round one.”

The three semi-finalists have each been awarded $3,000 stipends to help them further develop their plans to turn the 6,200-square-foot alleyway behind the new Market City Center into a permanent piece of art and small event space.

The search for semi-finalists began in the fall of 2017, and received 45 proposals from 11 different countries, including Italy, France, Canada, Malaysia, India and China.

Semi-finalists are: Alley Grass (Boston, Massachusetts), City Thread (Syracuse, New York) and Graffix Alley (Chattanooga).

“Passageways 2.0 presented our participants with a whole new set of design challenges than the first round of installations - we were excited at the level of interest in Chattanooga, and the creative responses that the teams came up with,” says Jason Ennis, Architectural Designer at Cogent Studio and Passageways Co-Curator. “We are excited to continue to create these spaces that highlight how quality design and innovative thinking can create invaluable spaces our entire community can enjoy.”