The shortlist is announced today for the competition to design a non-denominational reception building that will provide commemorative services for a green burial site to be created at Alne Wood Park, near Alcester.
RIBA Competitions is managing the selection process on behalf of Warwickshire landowner Felix Dennis - who is working in partnership with registered charity The Heart of England Forest Ltd. - to plant and preserve a large native broadleaf forest in the heart of England.
The green burial site seeks to complement this overarching vision via an appropriate development which will provide a reliable source of income, increase rural employment, bio-diversity and public engagement with the landscape.
The Judging Panel consisted of Felix Dennis and David Bliss (Trustees, The Heart of England Forest Ltd.), Colin Shenton (Shenton Group), with Stephen Hodder Hodder+Partners) acting as the RIBA Architect Adviser.
Practices were asked to
show examples of relevant work from their portfolio, together with outlining their preliminary ideas about the project, and proposed approach to design and site context.
The Panel was delighted by the response to the competition which attracted 94 Expressions of Interest from architects based in the UK and Europe. Panel members were impressed by the range of proposed approaches and the understanding of the subject matter demonstrated within the supporting narrative material. The four short-listed practices [in alphabetical order] are:
Baumschlager Eberle Hauvette Paris
Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios
Jonathan Hendry Architects
Rainey Petrie Architecture
Members of the Judging Panel commented:
'I was completely astonished by the response of architects to this RIBA competition, not just at the number of entries but the grasp of the necessary details and vision exhibited.'
'The Judging Panel was impressed and excited by the breadth and quality of the 94 submissions; there is a great deal of creativity in the architectural community and matching this to such an unusual brief will produce one of England`s finest new buildings.'
'The competition has been a great success. We are looking forward to seeing the design ideas develop and then working with the eventual winner, the local community and planners to build a structure that will fit perfectly with its surroundings.'
Following more detailed development of the design proposals, the four practices will be invited to present their schemes to the Judging Panel at a final interview to be held in March 2013.