Maidstone High Street Competition
Letts Wheeler Architects has won the competition to re-design Maidstone High Street as part of a circa £4m public realm improvement project in the town centre.
The first stage of the competition attracted 76 submissions in response to Maidstone Borough Council's call for fresh, innovative and viable design proposals that will be capable of transforming the High Street and enhancing Maidstone's distinctiveness as Kent's County Town. Following an anonymous assessment of the Stage 1 submissions, Letts Wheeler Architects were short-listed together with (in alphabetical order): Conran & Partner Ltd; Douglas and King Architects; Terence O'Rourke Ltd and Townshend Landscape Architects.
The five short-listed teams were invited to refine their design proposals following feedback from the Stage 1 assessment and present their ideas to the Judging Panel at a final interview. The Judging Panel consisted of Elected and Executive Members of Maidstone Borough Council and Kent County Council, together with Robert Sakula (Ash Sakula Architects) acting as the RIBA Adviser. The Panel admired Letts Wheeler's clutter free, deceptively simple scheme and the care and thought the team had expended in revising their proposals. The Jury Panel felt confident that Letts Wheeler's approach demonstrated they will be able to work with the client body and other stakeholders to deliver a solution which will successfully resolve the competing demands on the High Street. Cllr. Malcolm Greer (Maidstone Borough Council, Cabinet Member for Regeneration) commented: 'We selected Letts Wheeler as we felt they can deliver the High Street that Maidstone wants. Now we will talk to the team to develop their ideas further and carry out consultation to add details to the design'.