Savannah College of Art and Design Reimagines The Elbow

In 2013, the City of Jacksonville Planning Department asked Savannah College of Art and Design’s architecture graduate studio to develop ideas for the reinvention and revitalization of The Elbow, Downtown’s nightlife and entertainment district.

Recently, groups of students presented the projects to DVI, The Elbow and the Planning Department. The audience was overwhelmed with creativity the students showcased through the projects.

“Students researched current conditions and developed ideas that would creatively, yet tangibly, respond to the dynamics of human life,” said Professor Arpad Ronaszegi, “while embracing the essence of Jacksonville and celebrating the connection between historic and contemporary, conceptual and experimental, natural and man-made, civic and commercial.”

Here’s a sample of what these architecture students imagined for Downtown:

Reviving the Edge
By Matt Jarosz & Eduardo Frontera

Jarosz and Frontera expanded the existing entertainment zone on Bay Street to include more of Bay Street, the Riverwalk and The Jacksonville Landing. The students focused on making the area more pedestrian friendly and improving connectivity between hotspots. They proposed adding in natural elements such as public spaces with grassy parks, seating and expanding the river to cut into the city streets.

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Revitalizing The Elbow in the Urban District
By Fatema Al Aradi and Scott Cook

After their research, Al Aradi and Cook felt The Elbow was disconnected from the rest of Downtown. They proposed using signage to denote The Elbow boundaries and adding a boardwalk extension along the Riverwalk for boat docks. In their renderings, they also included a few new urban parks and more residential, retail and restaurant spaces.

(Click photos to view larger.)



Revitalization of Downtown Jacksonville
By Holly Califano and Aaron Farabee

Califano and Farabee agreed that Downtown Jacksonville needs to restructure its infrastructure to make the area more mobility-friendly by widening sidewalks for pedestrians, instituting bike lanes and increasing street parking. They also proposed infill of low-to-high rise, mixed-use buildings, where more residential, retail, dining and business opportunities may exist. All new buildings would be built by green standards for a more sustainable Downtown.

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Jacksonville Arts & Entertainment District
By Anthony Ebanks and Markia Maye

Ebanks and Maye focused on walkability and activity within The Elbow. In their renderings, they used techniques to calm traffic and make the street more pedestrian and bike-friendly by adding a bike lane to all Downtown blocks. A pedestrian street mall on Forsyth Street would create a retail destination and more activities along the Riverwalk such as boat docks, more water taxi stops and a sports complex would become an entertainment hub.

(Click photo to view larger.)



See the Vibe
By Lauren Segall and Christine Ellis

Segall and Ellis want to create unique vibes throughout different districts or areas of Downtown. One district would include more green space along the Riverwalk District with a skate park and a children’s play area. Along with shutting down Forsyth Street to vehicular traffic, they proposed a permanent structure for a farmers market and unique shade structures to create a more pleasant public space during hot summers. Bike lanes, more retail, restaurants, greenery and public spaces were proposed in the renderings as well.

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We were pleased to see common threads including a focus on walkability, connectivity and the riverfront among future architect leaders. You can learn more about SCAD programs here.