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RIBA Competition winner announced for Green Burial Site reception building, Alne Wood Park, Warwickshire


14 November 2013

Press release contact:

Julia Davies
T: +44 (0)113 203 1490
E: julia.davies@riba.org

be paris | baumschlager eberle are announced today as the winners of 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 managed 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.

The selection process was launched in late 2012 with the first stage, which took the form of a short Expression of Interest document together with an A3 sheet outlining preliminary ideas and approach to site/context, attracting ninety-four submissions. be paris | baumschlager eberle were selected from a four strong shortlist which also included (in alphabetical order of design team lead): Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, Jonathan Hendry Architects and Rainey Petrie Architecture. The Judging Panel was extremely impressed by the way in which all four teams had developed their preliminary sketch ideas from the first phase of the competition and their careful consideration of the subject matter. The Panel faced a difficult task in selecting a winner from the very varied approaches to design and site context. Panel members felt that the contemporary insertion proposed by the be paris | baumschlager eberle team - whose ‘floating’ grid shell roof sought inspiration from the canopy of an oak tree with a shimmering glass envelope beneath - would complement and meld into the beautiful landscape setting of the Alne Wood burial site. Felix Dennis looks forward to working with the be paris | baumschlager eberle team, the local community and planners to realise the reception building scheme.  

David Bliss commented: ‘I am delighted with the feedback we have received so far from local residents and look forward to the continued consultation’.

Notes to editors

  • Please ensure RIBA Competitions is credited when mentioning the above competition. RIBA Competitions delivers variety, inspiration and value through expertly run design and architectural competitions. For further details visit www.architecture.com/competitions
  • The Heart of England Forest Project is a partnership initiative between Warwickshire landowner, Felix Dennis, and The Heart of England Forest Ltd., a registered charity. The aim of the partnership is to plant and preserve a large native broadleaf forest in the heart of England. To date, the Heart of England Forest Project has been responsible for acquiring and planting 2,200 acres of land with native broadleaf sapling, much of it close to veteran woodland also purchased by Mr. Dennis. The project recently established its own tree nursery. For more information go to http://www.heartofenglandforest.com



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