Project Description

The Scramble

Chattanooga, Tennessee

The Scramble is a sculpted streetscape project that repurposes existing infrastructure into a striking interactive space and an innovative stormwater collection and filtration system. The project revitalizes a crucial link within the downtown Ramble, connecting the arts district to the heart of downtown and the Aquarium. The Scramble builds upon Chattanooga’s unique climbing culture with an urban rock scramble adding to the recreational destinations in the region and downtown, including the massive nearby Block climbing venue and the Walnut Wall in Coolidge Park. The sculpted scramble landscape references rock outcroppings in the region and is intended to visually and experientially tie to the nature themes of the adjacent Aquarium Plaza. The angular forms of The Scramble are intended to visually link to other parts of the City including the architecture of the Hunter Art Museum, the top of the Aquarium buildings, the Block, the angular concrete piers of the glass bridge, and the angled slopes in Renaissance Park, which themselves seem to reference the natural geology and beauty of the region. The sculpted elements of The Scramble are comprised of sculpted concrete with high levels of recycled content and local Tennessee stone. In the evening light emerges from apertures in the Scramble Elements creating an elegant glow along the street’s incline that will be unmistakable from some distance.

Underlying The Scramble is an innovative stormwater collection, filtration, re-circulation and irrigation system based on the repurposing of an existing defunct cable car vault. This water system is designed to take advantage of the existing 8’ deep concrete cable car vault through some modifications, waterproofing, and filling the vaults with locally acquired aggregate. The goal of the stormwater system is multi-fold; first to divert and capture urban stormwater, second to aerate and cleanse the water before it enters the Tennessee River, and lastly to use the stormwater as an acoustic amenity and for providing irrigation rather than utilizing potable water.  In the warmer months water will circulate through The Scramble in a series of chambers and wells throughout the landscape. The water in The Scramble will utilize the captured stormwater which can be seen and heard, but is otherwise not accessible. The nearby interactive features at The Passage and Aquarium Plaza offer numerous water play areas; The Scramble offers an auditory experience of the water with, for the curious, glimpses of its flow.

This project is being led by the River City Company and the City of Chattanooga with generous support from the Lyndhurst and Benwood Foundations.

Renderings shown are from earlier design iterations. The project is ongoing with construction due to start in 2020.

Project Credits

Artist / Designer: Michael Singer
Singer Studio Team: Jason Bregman, Jonathan Fogelson and Will Robart
Structural Engineering: Brian Beaulieu at Colby Co. Engineering
Landscape Architecture and Civil Engineering: Allen Jones,
Micah Duffey and Caleb Melchior at Asa Engineering and Consulting
MEP Engineering: Mike Whitfield and Randy Metcalf at Campbell and Associates
River City Company: Jim Williamson
City of Chattanooga: Clay Oliver, Katelyn Kirnie, James Bergdoll,
Dennis Malone, Justin Steinmann

The Scramble