Flat Lot Competition


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.




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




The Flat Lot Competition is an open international competition. Entries may be submitted by professionals and non–professionals, individuals and teams, locals and non–locals. Entrants are encouraged to visit Flint to fully understand the site and its urban context.


Entrants must e-mail flatlot@flintpublicartproject.com with “registration” in the subject line, and send their registration fee postmarked by 5pm February 8, 2013. The fee is $50 for professionals, $25 for current students. Entrants must register by 5pm February 8, 2013. (Students should include their academic affiliation, program, and year.)


Make check or money order payable to:


Flint Public Art Project
124 West First Street
Flint, MI 48502





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