Sioux Falls, SD (2019)

In year one of Friends & Citizens, the student interns sought to fill in a missing tooth in the fabric of Downtown Sioux Falls. The Falcon Building got the studio off to a strong start.

Friends & Citizens is a summer-long design studio that integrates the academic and professional worlds of architecture for a group of student interns. Each summer, CO-OP oversees a handful of students from various disciplines, offering them the tools and guidance required to complete a theoretical design project in addition to some practical daily work. On the theoretical side, the students interact with various entities – including local governments and business owners, design professionals, and members of the general public – as they design a conceptual solution to a real-world problem in a local community. The students develop their design skills, take part in public policy discussions, learn smart and sustainable land use and urban planning strategies, and most importantly, help build vibrant communities. At the end of the summer, they present their research and design publicly with the hopes of bringing the project to life down the road.

In the summer of 2019, three SDSU design students – Tessa Klarenbeek, Alexandra Rausch, and Becca Woytassek – designed a mixed-use, multi-story project on the 300 block of North Phillips Avenue in Downtown Sioux Falls. The 300 block is uniquely situated to make a dramatic impact, linking the developing ‘Uptown’ of Sioux Falls with the historic Downtown core. Sadly, an underutilized parking lot currently sits on the site. The Friends & Citizens interns investigated better uses of the site, landing on a dapper mixed-use building complete with office space, apartments, parking, ground-level retail, and a rooftop bar. If it ever gets built, the Falcon Building will be a boon for Downtown Sioux Falls.

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