FPAP Executive Director Stephen Zacks press statement (PDF)

Download flyer
Download technical documentation

Flat Lot photographs on Flickr

E-mail questions to flatlot@flintpublicartproject.com

Flat Lot Competition is produced in affiliation with The American Institute of Architects – Flint.

re–imagine the parking lot

Flat Lot Competition

Flint Public Art Project and the Flint Chapter of the American Institute of Architects announce that Two Islands, a team of architects and designers based in London, have won the $25,000 grand prize in the inaugural Flat Lot competition to design and build a temporary summer pavilion on Flint's central downtown parking lot.

An exhibit of the top projects reviewed by the jury opens Friday, June 14 during Flint Art Walk at the First Street Lofts from 6 - 9pm. The temporary pavilion will open Friday, July 12 and will remain on the site until Fall.

The winning proposal, Mark's House, tells the story of an imagined Flint resident, Mark Hamilton, whose family loses a home to foreclosure. The project perches a Tudor-style house clad in reflective panels on top of a mirrored pedestal, giving the structure the appearance of floating in mid-air. The house serves as a metaphor for both what the city has lost, as well as its ongoing revitalization, while also providing a canopy and stage for Flat Lot events. In addition, the structure can hold up to 1,500 gallons of water, which can be released as a cooling spray during hot summer days.

Flint Public Art Project and AIA-Flint launched the competition last fall. The competition brief called for a temporary structure that would take up no more than eight parking spaces, and would support public programs by providing amenities such as seating, shade, cooling devices, and a stage for performances. Nearly 400 teams from more than 35 countries around the world registered for the competition, and 221 entries ultimately were submitted by the March 1 deadline.

Two Islands is a London based design studio, founded by William Villalobos, Cesc Massanas and Tomas Selva.

Three other projects received honorable mention:

Stage a Lot, by KSE Studio (Sofia Krimizi and Kyriakos Kyriakou) of Brooklyn, NY

Building Bodies for Work by Wes Janz, Tim Gray, and Andrea Swartz of Ball State University

AC.H2O, by Michael Ting of University of Calgary

These projects and 17 others will be exhibited along with Mark’s House at an exhibit to open on April 14 during the Flint Art Walk.

The Flat Lot Competition panel was chaired by Reed Kroloff, director,
Cranbrook Academy of Art.

Other panel members included:

Pedro Gadanho, curator of contemporary architecture, MOMA
John Gazall, Flint-based architect, board member, Downtown Development Authority, and member of AIA-Flint
John Henry, director, Flint Institute of Arts
Monica Ponce de Leon, dean, University of Michigan Taubman College of Architecture
Shannon Easter White, Flint-based architect and member of AIA-Flint
Stephen Zacks, executive director, Flint Public Art Project.

Flat Lot Semifinalists and Finalists

(Flickr page with proposal images coming soon)


Mark’s House


Stage a Lot – Honorable Mention
AC.H2O – Honorable Mention
Building Bodies for Work – Honorable Mention
Light Park
Knot Lot


Elevated Carriage
Murphy Monsters
OBLAKA Pavilion
Flat Lot Fanfare
Flint Convertible
Tensile Cloud
The Big Top
The Lawn – Taking Back the Flat Lot
The Noodle

The competition is now closed.

The American Institute of Architects – Flint and Flint Public Art Project announce the first annual Flat Lot Competition, a program to design and build a temporary summer pavilion in the central parking lot in downtown Flint.

Formerly occupied by a series of office buildings and storefronts along Saginaw Street, the full–block surface parking lot known as the Flat Lot has become a staging ground for parades, flower–plantings, car shows, road races, and almost every sort of public event that draws large crowds. The Flat Lot Competition seeks proposals to design and build an innovative temporary structure that provides shelter, shade, and seating for a wide range of public events, defines space within the lot, and demonstrates the capacity of contemporary architectural form–making to transform space and captivate the public imagination – all while occupying no more than eight parking spaces during normal business hours. The winner of the competition will receive $25,000 to realize their proposal.

A collaboration between AIA–Flint, Flint Public Art Project and the Downtown Development Authority, the Flat Lot Competition is modeled after the MoMA/PS1 Young Architects Program, which every year reinvents the former public school courtyard in Long Island City, Queens as a popular place for summer events and concerts.

The Flat Lot will be a new center and symbol for the city, an attraction for regional visitors, and a site that amplifies the many existing events that help define cultural life in Flint.


Download guidelines
Download flyer
Download technical documentation

Entries will be judged according to the following criteria:

  1. Conceives an imaginative transformation of space and conceptual design
  2. Demonstrates innovative techniques and ideas of contemporary form–making
  3. Meets functional needs of summer events, including
    • provides a stage, bandstand, or other platform
    • provides a shading or cooling mechanism
    • provides seating or lounging area
    • delineates space to allow for drinking and food service
    • creates an inviting area for assembly of groups
  4. Occupies no more than eight parking spaces during normal business hours
  5. Demonstrates feasibility within budget or ability to raise additional funds to realize concept
  6. Imagines far–reaching transformation of lot for future use

All entrants must include a preliminary budget demonstrating a capacity to realize their proposals by June 14, 2013 with a budget of $25,000. This amount will cover all materials, labor, travel, permit fees and other expenses needed to construct the project. Proposals need not address the entire site, but may concentrate on strategic areas. Proposals may include visionary designs for future institutions that recognize the Flat Lot's use as both surface parking and an active public space, as well as the eventual development of a permanent project that serves as–yet–unacknowledged needs. Proposals also may identify latent activities within the city's cultural and economic life that currently have no suitable space to accommodate them.


Pedro Gadanho, Curator of Contemporary Architecture, Museum of Modern Art
John Gazall, President, Gazall-Lewis Associates, Architects, Inc; Downtwon Development Authority representative
John Henry, Director, Flint Institute of Arts
Reed Kroloff, Director, Cranbrook Institute of Arts
Monica Ponce de Leon, Dean, University of Michigan College of Architecture
Shannon White, Founding Director, FUNchitecture; AIA-Flint Representative
Stephen Zacks, Executive Director, Flint Public Art Project


November 14, 2012: Competition announced
February 8, 2013: Registration deadline
March 1, 2013: Submittal deadline
March 14, 2013: Winners announced
April 12, 2013: Curated exhibit during Flint Art Walk and online
June 14, 2013: Construction on winning proposal completed

About Flint Public Art Project

Flint Public Art Project organizes public events, workshops, and temporary installations to inspire residents to reimagine the city, reclaim vacant and underutilized buildings and lots, and use innovative tools to steer the city's long–term planning. We support collaborations among local residents and organizations with leading artists, architects, planners, and community organizers from around the world, connecting the city to regional, national, and global movements to revitalize places through art and design. We are documenting and amplifying the many ways residents, businesses, and institutions are transforming the city and its identity, and broadcasting this new story to audiences throughout the world.