Urban Splash reveals Walsall Waterfront competition finalists
Award winning property developer Urban Splash has announced the finalists for the Walsall Waterfront RIBA architectural competition. After considering more than 130 submissions, judges have chosen a shortlist of seven designs from the following practices:
FLACQ and Featherstone Associates (joint submission) London, UK
moh Architects Vienna, Austria
Jacobs Architecture London, UK
Kirkland Fraser Moor Aldbury, Herts, UK
Woods Bagot London, UK
Piercy Conner Architects London, UK
Type_O London, UK
Commenting on the shortlist, managing director of Urban Splash Midlands, Nathan Cornish, said: "We're really excited by these designs. It was extremely difficult to narrow the submissions down as there were so many strong contenders. We'd aimed to have six, but in the end had to go with one more.
"We're looking for a defining piece of architecture for Walsall and now have a shortlist of seven really powerful concepts to choose from."
The competition brief was to create a design-led a mixed use waterfront scheme in the heart of Walsall. Known locally as Lex, the 2.26 acre (0.1 ha) site sits at the entrance to Walsall Waterfront creating a real gateway into the town centre and is bordered on two sides by canals.
Councillor Adrian Andrew, Walsall Council cabinet member for regeneration and enterprise, praised the high standard of entries.
He said: "This comes soon after the RIBA competition which saw an international standard of entries to design the new Bentley library.
"This is another example of Walsall building not just a national but an international reputation in the field of architecture and will help create an architectural park at the Waterfront in Walsall.
"The vision we have is for a Waterfront that has landmark buildings and this will help us fulfil that."
Ben Reid, chairman of Walsall Regeneration Company and a member of the judging panel, said: "These are exciting times for a revitalised Walsall where the opportunity for world class design is being further recognised. The interest from renowned architects and the high quality of the short-listed designs for the Lex site underlines our confidence that Waterfront will be a truly inspirational location and a major factor in the town centre's regeneration."
The winning design, due to be announced in August, will neighbour phase 1 of Walsall Waterfront which includes designs from renowned architects, SMC Alsop, shedkm and Feix & Merlin.
To give the public an opportunity to view the designs, Urban Splash will be holding an exhibition of the shortlisted schemes, along with all other entries, at The New Art Gallery Walsall between 9 and 12 August.
As part of the Walsall Waterfront developments, Urban Splash is working in partnership with Advantage West Midlands, Walsall Council and Walsall Regeneration Company.