Today, the Royal Institute of British Architects launches a captivating new architecture exhibition at Somerset House, exploring imaginative uses for abandoned spaces across London.
The exhibition features 26 of the best proposals from the hugely popular Forgotten Spaces ideas competition, alongside a selection of completed regeneration projects across the Capital.
The exhibition itself opens up some of Somerset House’s own hidden spaces and corridors. It explores the background and context of the competition winners and provides a thought provoking tour of London’s overlooked places.
The winning proposal, receiving £5,000, was Fleeting Memories by 4orm – which calls for the resurgence of the River Fleet at King’s Cross; second prize went to Studio Pink for a swimming pool complex under the Silvertown Flyover and third prize went to Chris Allen, Marcus Andren, Michael Gyi for a new bowling alley and microbrewery at the Royal Docks. Full details follow below.
From Somerset House’s Great Arch Hall, through the winding Courtyard Lightwells, to the atmospheric Deadhouse, the exhibition uncovers the full story behind each competition entry.
Designed by architecture practice - Studio Glowacka and communications designers Thomas Matthews, the exhibition draws inspiration from the construction phase of a development project, where the temporary enabling works are the transition between the empty site and the physical reality of the project. Likewise, it is hoped the exhibition will provide the framework and platform for some of these innovative ideas to come to life.
Winners and commended schemes:
1st Prize: Fleeting Memories
by 4orm; Richard Gooden, Stephen Coleman, Claire Priest
Location: St Pancras Gardens, NW1 1UL
The winning proposal resurrects the buried Fleet River as it flows near St. Pancras Station and replaces the Pancras Road with a new riverside park. It provides a destination for visitors, a route for pedestrians and cyclists, and a unique addition to the local network of open spaces.
By Studio Pink: a collaborative studio of Atelier Chang and DH Liberty; Dara Huang, Soohyun Chang, Heather Lyons, Ryan Day, Remo de Angelis, Federica Russo, and Lisa Hinderdael.
Location: Silvertown Way Flyover, E16 1AF
A swimming pool and spa proposal for the Royal Docks area provides a memorable sensory and spatial experience.
3rd: Silvertown Brewery
By Chris Allen, Marcus Andren, Michael Gyi
Location: Silvertown Way Flyover, E16 1AF
The project creates a destination out of Silvertown rather than being a place of transit. A microbrewery and bowling venue are introduced, extending London’s rapid resurgence into brewing and the world’s beer scene.
Commended: An Aerial View
BT Tower, W1T 4JZ
Reclaiming the decommissioned aerial platforms of the BT tower, the proposal wraps the space in a curtain forcing the viewer to question the building's familiarity; it transforms the platforms from a defunct piece of public infrastructure into a glamorous civic space.
By Patrick Judd & Ash Bonham
Greenwich Gas Holder, Greenwich, SE10 0PF
The Gasworks gives new purpose to a redundant but historically significant structure, providing a social and cultural heart to future communities with the provision of new parklands, a public square and venue space.
Commended: Museum of Memories
By Claire Moody
121 Westminster Bridge Road, SE1 7HR
Situated on the old London Necropolis Railway terminus, the Museum of Memories provides a place to share the past through experiential exhibits and an archival library of artifacts to preserve memories.
Commended: Urban Agri-Aqua Culture
By Ian Wale, Peter Wale
Lower Marsh Lane, Surbiton, KT1 3BW
Inhabiting a decommissioned sewage treatment site, a new urban farm is created for the production of fish, fruit and vegetables. It aims to increase the amount of locally produced, bought and consumed food.
Commended: The Royal Pavilion
By Mike Taylor and Daniel Marmot
Pier Road, Woolwich, E16 2JJ
A disused platform in North Woolwich is reimagined as the plinth for a new pavilion, which takes the name of the Royal Pavilion pub formerly on the site. A riverside terrace creates a new destination, with flexible community space below.
The Forgotten Spaces exhibition will be open to the public daily, 10.00 – 18.00, 4 October – 10 November 2013. Entry is free and accessed via the Great Arch entrance on Victoria Embankment. Check Somerset House opening times for full details.
The RIBA London Forgotten Spaces project is partnered by Qatari Diar, Ordnance Survey and the Mayor of London and is supported by the Royal Town Planners Institute (RTPI) and the Landscape Institute.
Dates: 4 October – 10 November 2013
Opening Hours: 10am – 6pm Daily.
Address: South Wing, Lightwells, Deadhouse and Great Arch Lobby, Somerset House, London, WC2R 1LA. Access via Victoria Embankment entrance
Transport: Temple, Embankment Charing Cross, Waterloo
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Notes to editors
High Resolution Images of the winning competition entries are found here:
High Resolution images of the exhibition are found here:
1.0 Forgotten Spaces is a trade mark of the RIBA. See www.architecture.com/forgottenspaces for more information.
2.0 Forgotten Spaces 2013 is an ideas based competition. It is open to students, artists, design professionals, planners, members of the public and local groups (led by a professional) living in the UK. The competition is being run by the RIBA in London and in Preston in 2013. Competition proposals for London must be for sites within Greater London as defined by the 33 London Boroughs, and must not replicate sites identified by the Forgotten Spaces 2011 shortlist. The London judges were: Fiona Scott, member of the Mayor’s Design Advisory Group; Jeremy Titchen, Development Director, Qatari Diar UK Ltd; Peter Wynne Rees, The City Planning Officer, City of London; Sue Illman, President of the Landscape Institute; Paul Finch, Editorial Director, Architects’ Journal; and Alison Mayer, Senior Project Officer, Greater London Authority.
3.0 RIBA London and RIBA North West support the membership by providing high quality support services, organising regular activities and training in their respective UK regions. They both seek to
increase the political and professional influence of RIBA within the region and work to raise public awareness of architecture as a profession. Both encourage improvement in the built environment by
delivering cultural activities and by encouraging architectural debate in the public arena.
4.0 The Mayor of London plays a key role in running London. He sets a citywide vision of improvement, develops strategies and policies to realise the vision and provides funding and encouragement to help make it a reality. The Mayor is in charge of setting the overall vision for the capital and draws up strategies and policies to deliver the vision. He has a duty to set out plans and policies for London covering: Transport, Planning and development, Housing, Economic development and regeneration, Culture, Health inequalities, and a range of environmental issues including climate change, biodiversity, ambient noise, waste disposal and air quality.
5.0 Qatari Diar UK: Wholly owned by the Qatar Investment Authority, Qatari Diar Real Estate Investment Company was established in December 2005, to support Qatar's growing economy and to co-ordinate the country's real estate development priorities. Qatari Diar is currently developing or planning more than 49 projects in 29 countries around the world. Qatari Diar is becoming established as one of the world's most trusted and respected real estate companies because of its commitment to quality, local community, partnership and hallmark sustainability. Qatari Diar's hallmark vision of sustainable development places community and local traditions at the forefront.
The company aims to create and manage property investments and developments which not only comply with the best international standards, but which also strongly reflect local culture and values. As a result, Qatari Diar's projects deliver a distinctive and sustainable social, economic and environmental benefit to the community. In addition, Qatari Diar often enables local and international developers and investors to partner in its projects and to work together in exploring other opportunities, both locally and internationally. In the UK, Qatari Diar's portfolio of interests includes the planned transformation of the former Chelsea Barracks into a new and beautiful residential neighbourhood in the heart of the capital and the US Embassy building in Grosvenor Square. Joint ventures include, with Canary Wharf Group, a mixed-use development around the famous Shell Centre and with Delancey, ownership and development of East Village, the first leading Olympic legacy neighbourhood for London.
6.0 Ordnance Survey is Great Britain’s national mapping agency, providing the most accurate and up-to-date geographic data, relied on by government, business and individuals. Just as architecture has a huge impact on society, so does the underlying geographic information that helps us decide where and what to build for sustainable living. Architects and other property professionals use location data from
Ordnance Survey to help with feasibility studies, environmental investigations, scenario modelling and presenting design plans, ultimately supporting them to make better business decisions. www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/landproperty
7.0 Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) London is the regional branch of the UK’s leading planning body for spatial, sustainable and inclusive planning and has a membership in excess of 2,000 planners from central, regional and local government, non-governmental agencies, private consultancies, the voluntary sector, the education sector and other organisations. It works to empower communities, shape planning policy and practice, develop knowledge and raise standards in spatial planning in the capital.
8.0 The Landscape Institute (LI) is the royal chartered body for landscape architects. The LI campaigns to protect, conserve and enhance the natural and built environment for public benefit and is part of the government’s Green Infrastructure Partnership. In 2012 the Landscape Institute launched ‘A High Line for London: Green Infrastructure ideas competition for a new London landscape’ in partnership with the Mayor of London and the Garden Museum. The Landscape Institute has since developed a new website dedicated to showcasing green infrastructure ideas for the capital – visit at www.newlondonlandscape.org
9.0 Somerset House is a spectacular neo-classical building in the heart of London, sitting between the Strand and the River Thames. Since opening to the public in 2000, Somerset House has produced a distinctive public programme that annually draws over 2.5 million visitors to the site, providing a stimulating environment for exploration and relaxation. The varied, year-round programme includes an open air film and concert season and ice rink, as well as temporary exhibitions focusing on contemporary fashion, architecture, art and design, family workshops and free guided tours. In September 2009, Somerset House became the new home of London Fashion Week.