Forgotten Spaces

RIBA competition

by eleonora usseglio prinsi
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RIBA has launched last week the new competition Forgotten Spaces.

Preston is full of potential for development, with proposals for major investment across the city. However, there still remain pockets of obscure leftover land and neglected plots that could- with imagination and new thinking- accommodate a host of functions, respond to local needs and provide a counterpoint to these wider investment proposals.

Held for the first time in the North West, this design competition asks architects, planners, artists, engineers and landscape designers to nominate an existing over-looked site in Preston and propose an idea for its improvement.
A ‘forgotten space’ could be small or large - a grassy verge, a wasteland, an unused car park, a derelict building, an empty unit, an underpass or a flyover. The proposal could be simple or complex, a commercial or public facility, a piece of public art or a new building. The main requirement is that it responds to the surrounding area and serves a function for the local community.
Competition entrants can put forward their own site, or choose one of the six sites identified as a ‘forgotten space’ by representatives from Preston City Council, Lancashire County Council and UCLan. Entrants can also put forward their own site within the Preston municipal boundary.

Entrants should consider accessibility, sustainability, inclusivity, cost relative to the site, possible multi-programming and durability. The proposals will not be constructed however it is anticipated that the competition will draw attention to the six identified sites as well as unearth places not previously highlighted as potentially profitable or worth developing.

The competition hopes to provoke discussion amongst landowners, local authorities and investors about regeneration via a grass roots approach, allowing local artists and designers to come up with solutions for individual sites.

All entrants are required to register by 27th March 2013. Entrants then have until 9th May to finalise and submit their competition entries. 

The judging panel will include Stephen Hodder, Hodder Associates and RIBA President-Elect, Bob Allies of Allies & Morrison, Alex McCrickard of Group Architect, The Eric Wright Group, Charlotte Myhrum, design Review Manager at Places Matter!, Richard Waite, News Editor in Architects’ Journal, Laurie Peake, programme Director ofLiverpool Biennial.

Three top prizes and up to five commendations will be awarded to the best schemes and a shortlist of up to 30 of the best proposals will be showcased in a public exhibition which is planned to be held in the old Post Office Building in Preston city centre in the autumn.
1st Prize: £5,000
2nd Prize: £2,000
3rd Prize: £1,000