In March 2013, the Pulitzer Arts Foundation and the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis launched PXSTL, based on the belief that creative interventions have the power to serve as meaningful catalysts for urban transformation.
PXSTL, an acronym that stands for the Pulitzer, Sam Fox School, and St. Louis, begins with a national competition to design and build a temporary, site-specific structure that functions as a venue for community-based and site-specific programming, while activating a vacant lot in the Grand Center neighborhood of St. Louis. Throughout the course of the project, the Pulitzer and the Sam Fox School will work to expand community engagement through the design of both the structure and the programs that it will house.
Architect Amanda Williams and artist/educator Andres L. Hernandez were selected as the winners of the second iteration of PXSTL.
In addition to designing and building an innovative, site-specific structure that funcitons as a venue for community-based programming, Williams and Hernandez will teach a studio as visiting faculty in the Sam Fox School's Graduate School of Architecture & Urban Design that focuses on exploring and developing their concept for this project. Upon completion in spring 2017, the structure will be activated by arts programming created for and by St. Louis' diverse population, including site-specific performances, installations, and other participatory projects.
For the 2015-17 competition, the Pulitzer and Sam Fox School solicited nominations from deans of architecture, art, and design programs; editors of art, architecture, and design publications; distinguished practitioners; and directors and curators of arts institutions. Three finalists were chosen from a group of more than 35 international practitioners. The selection committee, which comprised representatives from the Pulitzer and the Sam Fox School, chose Williams and Hernandez based on criteria that included the strength and creativity of their past work, innovation of approach, and the potential to invite public engagement.
PXSTL is among several projects funded by an endowment created by Emily Rauh Pulitzer to support collaboration between the Pulitzer and the Sam Fox School.