Keyword Site Search

Open Ideas Urban Redesign Competition, Horton Plaza Park, San Diego

Back in the 1920s, Horton Plaza was green space with bordering palms and the Irving Gill fountain (1909). This social space was named for Alonzo Horton, a fellow who bought 960 acres bordering San Diego Bay back in 1 8 6 7, land that makes up most of downtown San Diego today.
Steve - ASLA AD
Cost of Wisconsin
teak USA Vinyl
Architectural Iron Custom Canopies

On January 11, 2011, the San Diego City Council unanimously approved a plan to demolish the former Robinson's-May Building in Westfield's Horton Plaza mall and use the land to expand historic Horton Park just north of it. The new park, 1.5 acres, will be built by the city's redevelopment agency for a projected $8 million.

Horton Plaza Park is no longer a vital community gathering spot. However, once the Robinsons-May Building is demolished, the park will have room to grow more than double its current size.

Design Competition
Now, Environmental Forms (ENV Forms) invites urban designers, architects, landscape architects and artists to envision just what the new Horton Plaza Park might look like. Horton Plaza v3.0 is an open ideas design competition created to encourage critical design approaches and public debate around a significant urban space in downtown San Diego, Calif.

"We believe that engaging in creative efforts with our local communities we can create a better, more informed population and improve our cultural and natural environments," says Zachary Mueting, co-founder of ENV Forms. "Horton Plaza v3.0 is meant to be an outlet for the voices of designers, residents, business owners and visitors that enjoy the beauty downtown San Diego has to offer," he added.

The Robinsons-May building to be demolished is about 10 feet below the Horton Park grade, a topography that affords the opportunity to create a multi-level space that might include stepped seating for an outdoor performance area.

Horton Plaza Park is just a block north of Westfield Horton Plaza, a compact, quirky five-level outdoor mall maze. The park sits adjacent to the Gaslamp Quarter, which includes historic buildings like Balboa Theatre and the U.S. Grant Hotel.

After registration, competition entrants will have an individual ShareFile account setup and access to satellite photographs, parcel maps, historical narratives and site images. Teams will also be able to use the ShareFile account during the competition to store data and collaborate with other team members.

Final submittal deadline is October 1, 2011 PST. All submittals must be sent in via ShareFile. Instructions will be included in the competition materials folder within the individual's ShareFile account.

Horton Plaza Park has the possibility of becoming a great San Diego urban space. This Open Ideas Design Competition gives designers the freedom to create pedestrian and market spaces, re-envision the water feature and plantings and let their creativity blossom. "Ultimately, the goal of this competition is to encourage critical design approaches and public debate," says Zachary Mueting, co-founder of ENV Forms, the sponsor of the Open Ideas Urban Redesign Competition.

The competition jurors are (alphabetically):

Stephen Kelly, Editor, Landscape Architect and Specifier News (LASN), and

Katherine Rudnyk, Monrovia Growers

Leslie Ryan, RLA, Department Chair of Landscape Architecture, New School of Architecture and Design (NSAD), San Diego

Glen Schmidt, Founder/President, Schmidt Design Group, Inc.

All questions and communication about the competition should be directed to competition coordinator Zachary Mueting at

Related Stories

December 7, 2019, 4:31 am PDT

Website problems, report a bug.
Copyright © 2019 Landscape Communications Inc.
Privacy Policy