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RIBA calls all to enter Architecture Open 2017

RIBA calls all to enter Architecture Open 2017

The RIBA has issued a call for entries for Architecture Open 2017, the annual scheme that is open to all and sees winning installations built at 1:1 scale for the summer.

This year’s theme is Beyond Borders, with a flexible brief that calls on architects to re-think borders, be they cultural, national, local, physical or psychological.

The call goes out to RIBA members, chartered practices, students and non-members alike, and collaborations are invited with artists and designers.

The RIBA Young People’s Forum (YPF) is also an integral part of the process, with 16-24 year old forum members working with selected architects from the design phase through to fabrication and installation.

Up to four installations will be realised – at an all-in budget of £5000 – at either RIBA HQ or the RIBA’s new national architecture centre in Liverpool opening in the summer. Proposals should have the potential to be contextualised by the spaces they will occupy.

All of the submissions considered to be a strong design response to the brief will go on show at an exhibition during the London Festival of Architecture.

‘Architecture Open is a platform for architects to showcase new ideas and new thinking around a topical theme. It can be the jump-start for self-initiated projects or the opportunity to realise an idea only previously laid out on paper. It brings together research, practice and education and consistently reaches well beyond the architectural community,’ says Chris Bryant, chair of the RIBA Small Practice Group and one of this year’s judges.

The RIBA event is notable for attracting a diverse spectrum of teams– from established practices to informal collaborative student partnerships.

The Pea Soup House by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studio (FCBS) was a winning response to last year’s Constructing Communities theme and went on to be installed in the foyer at the RIBA.

‘With the support of the practice, the team used the small project competition to explore and test ideas aided by the FCBS innovation and research fund. The exhibition aim was to gather communities together through food whilst disseminating a message about London’s poor air quality,’ says architectural assistant Charlotte Knight.

‘Our experience has been very valuable to not only the architectural team, but also to the collaborative project team. New relationships were forged with the RIBA, Expedition Engineers, Clarke’s Kitchen, King’s College, The RIBA Young People’s Forum, and volunteers who helped to build the structures.’

The team is currently exploring options with London borough councils and Low Emission Neighbourhoods to relocate Pea Soup House at polluted hotspots around London this summer.

Another of last year’s winning teams was Margin Collective, a group of four students who met in Liverpool while studying for their master’s degrees. All are now working in London but still collaborating on projects and competitions outside work.

Their charity pavilion, also constructed at RIBA HQ, was designed to help raise awareness of and resources to help child refugees.

‘That was a really beneficial project for us. It gave us an opportunity to use ideas from our master’s research and was our first opportunity to build something we had designed on our own. It’s given us a lot more ambition and has given us the confidence to approach other people.’ says Margin collaborator Richard Timmins.

More information on Architecture Open 2017 is at Beyond Borders. The deadline for submissions is 28 April 2017.

Thanks to Charlotte Knight, architectural assistant, Feilden Clegg Bradley Studio; Richard Timmins, architectural assistant, David Morley Architects.

Text by Neal Morris, © RIBA

Margin Collective was a winner of Architecture Open 2016: Constructing Communities, with this charity pavilion erected at the RIBA to raise awareness of the child refugee crisis. Photo © Richard Timmins.

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