Transforming a blighted alley into a vibrant pedestrian corridor for a public space competition; the designers see City Thread as a social connector.
In 2016, River City Company, Tinker Ma, and Public Art Chattanooga partnered to create an alley activation program called Passageways, which temporarily converted five downtown Chattanooga alleyways into pop-up art installations.
For Passageways 2.0, a public space competition, the same partners sought to transform a 6,200-square-foot blighted alley into a vibrant pedestrian corridor through a spatial installation. The winning design was City Thread by SPORTS, the multidisciplinary architecture and design collaborative of Molly Hunker and Greg Corso.
Constructed from a series of large, connected steel tubes that form a single, continuous volume through the alley, City Thread breaks the alley into a series of “urban rooms.” It offers seating areas, mini-stages, and framing for murals and community gatherings like farmers markets and movie screenings. The designers see City Thread as a social connector, both formal and informal.
“City Thread by SPORTS has transformed the alley into an interactive public art experience, providing a sense of discovery and exploration within Chattanooga’s urban environment,” says Meagan Shinn, program director of River City Company. “From ‘silent’ dance parties to outdoor films, the alley is now a place for our community and local businesses to utilize and enjoy.”