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Embassy Park Design Competition

The Embassy Park design competition seeks to generate new design ideas for the improvement of Embassy Park, an underused urban public park on Moody Street in the heart of downtown Waltham, Massachusetts.

The program includes a Community Visioning event and a juried Design Competition, and will culminate in a Project Exhibition and Awards Celebration.

Monetary awards will be made in three categories.


Though small in size (only 5,600 square feet), Embassy Park has great potential to be a lively place for people to gather and linger. Neighboring local establishments reflect the diversity of Waltham, including several ethnic restaurants along the renowned “Restaurant Row”; a variety of specialty shops; a highly regarded micro-brewery; a popular theater for independent and commercial films; the Waltham Mills and Lincoln Artists’ Studios, and the Charles River Museum of Industry. The location has good access to public transit, and is only a short walk or bike ride to the parks and pathways of the Charles River Reservation.

COGdesign and the City of Waltham are seeking innovative ideas to transform this urban space into a revitalized park that reflects the energy, creativity, and diversity of downtown Waltham, with opportunities for public art and programming informed by the people who live and work in this ethnically rich community.

Criteria for judging submissions will be based upon:

Project Impact

  • There is a clearly written design intent and statement (Project Description)
  • This design intent has been met
  • The design demonstrates creativity

Overall Design

  • The design is responsive to community needs, interests, and history
  • Design principles are clearly displayed (unity and balance), as well as masterful use of texture, color, scale, and form
  • The elements of the design blend harmoniously

Technical Merit

  • The design, if built, would function well
  • High standards have been set for quality of materials and workmanship
  • Choice of materials enhances the design
  • Difficult site problems have been addressed and solved
  • Sustainable practices have been incorporated (conservation of resources and energy, reduction of waste, protection of ecosystems, ‘green’ materials, on-site drainage infiltration, etc.)

Public Art

  • The design includes opportunities for public art
  • The public art element may be ‘stand alone’ or incorporated into structural park components
  • The public art enhances the appearance and experience of the site
  • The public art component should be designed to minimize future maintenance needs


  • Plants, if used, have been chosen to minimize future maintenance needs
  • Appropriateness and creativity is displayed in plant selection


All competition participants will be invited to the Awards Celebration on 8 December 2010 for a reception, jury feedback, and presentations. A selection of submissions including the Award winners will be on display at the Lincoln Studios on Moody Street from 22 November until 17 December, 2010.

  • Professional
    • First place: $1,500
    • Second place: $1,000
    • Third place: $500
  • Student
    • First place: $500
    • Second place: $300
    • Third place: $200
  • Non-professional
    • First place: $500
    • Second place: $300
    • Third place: $200
  • Honorable Mentions
    • No monetary award


  • Both the Community Visioning event and the Design Competition are open to the public, with anticipated participation by professionals and students, artists, individuals and teams, Waltham neighbors and all interested others.
  • Award winners will be notified by email and/or mail on 11 November 2010.

How to enter?

Required Submission Materials:

  1. One digital display board, landscape orientation (vs. portrait). The digital display board shall include a brief conceptual statement describing the project and a plan view in 1/8” scale showing downtown Main Street running horizontally below the park, at bottom edge of the plan. Boards may include additional content that supports the intent of the submission either sketched, drawn, computer-aided or photographed, in black & white or color.

    Award winners and other selected entries will be requested to provide a hard copy of the display board for exhibition mounted on 24”x36”x 3/16” black foam core/gator board, landscape orientation.

  2. A CD including:
    1. a PowerPoint presentation of up to five slides, including one image of the full digital display board and four additional images of board details, altogether not to exceed 7MB in aggregate file size;
    2. up to five additional .jpg images, each .jpg file allowed up to a maximum of 2 MB, detailing significant graphic components of the submission; and
    3. an electronic PDF file of the Project Description (see requirements below). Place your CD in a protective case with the anonymous entry identification number clearly visible on both the case and the CD.
  3. Two (2) printed copies of the Project Description on a separate, single-sided typewritten page (text only, at 11 point font size minimum) presented on 8-1/2” x 11” paper.
    • No personal identifying marks will be permitted on submissions
    • Only one submission per entry fee
    • No video entries, no slides, no models

All submissions must be received by 5 November 2010 at the following mailing address:

Embassy Park Design Competition
c/o N. Adams
257 Cabot St.
Newton, MA 02460

Entry fee

Regular Fee (13/9 – 15/10 postmark date, if mailed)

  • Professional individual/team registration: $100
  • Student individual/team registration: $25
  • Non-professional individual/team registration: $25

Late Fee (16/10 – 1/11; 25/10 postmark date, if mailed)

  • Professional individual/team late registration: $150
  • Student individual/team late registration: $50
  • Non-professional individual/team late registration: $50