San Antonio River Barge Design Competition Launches Today

Oct 30, 2015, 18:52 ET from City of San Antonio

SAN ANTONIO, Oct. 30, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- San Antonio's upcoming 300th anniversary in 2018 has inspired the City of San Antonio to re-imagine the 'river barge' experience as a quality transportation option with a newly designed, more sustainable and modular fleet using innovative technology to meet the needs of both tourists and residents.

The City is partnering with The American Institute of Architects, San Antonio Chapter (AIA San Antonio) to implement an international design competition to create redesigned river barges to be used on the San Antonio River. The competition opens Friday, Oct. 30 to local, national and international teams for innovative designs representative of a world-class city such as San Antonio.

"The San Antonio River is an iconic community feature," said Nicole Marrone, AIA San Antonio President. "Our chapter is honored to partner with the City of San Antonio on this project to transform the River Walk experience. Local architects applaud the City's commitment to make the river barge a more sustainable, passenger-friendly experience for tourists and locals alike."

The design competition will be determined in two phases by a nine-member jury. The first phase of the competition is an open call for teams to submit a narrative explaining their design concept along with detailed renderings. The jury will shortlist three finalists who meet the design competition requirements of designing an electric fleet that is both economically feasible and can be built.

The three finalists will move on to phase II and receive a $7,500 stipend to allow for design development to include a 3-D physical model, renderings, technical specifications, cost estimate, branding and material samples. The teams will also receive a $2,500 travel stipend to present their concept to the jury in San Antonio and participate in an open house for the community to view the designs. The top three teams will each receive a cash prize.

"The current river barge design dates back to 1995 and is reflective of where we have been," said District 1 City Councilman Roberto C. Trevino. "This design competition will ensure the winning design is reflective of a culturally rich and progressive city."

Upon selection of the winning design, the City will release a Request for Proposals (RFP) for manufacturing of the barges, purchase the fleet and lease to an operator. The City will issue a second RFP for operation and programming of the barge fleet.

"This innovative approach will relieve the financial burden of a potential operator having to secure the upfront capital to purchase the barge fleet," said Mayor Ivy R. Taylor. "Not only will we be able to offer an outstanding transportation option, we will encourage more competition through the RFP process."

The competition winner will be selected in February 2016 and both RFPs for manufacturing and operation of the fleet will be issued in March 2016. The design competition is sponsored by the San Antonio River Authority and the San Antonio Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Registration for the competition is available at

One San Antonio

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SOURCE City of San Antonio