Friday18 August 2017

RIBA launches Windermere Steamboat Museum competition

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Expressions of interest sought for Lake District redevelopment with young practices encouraged

The RIBA has launched a £5.3 million design competition to redevelop Windermere Steamboat Museum in the Lake District National Park.

The client, Lakeland Arts Trust, is particularly keen to encourage entries from young practices.

Its chief executive, Gordon Watson, was project director at the Hepworth Wakefield when David Chipperfield was appointed to create the new gallery.

He said: “Entrants will have to put together a good team, but it feels like an opportunity for younger practices to take on the role of lead architects and respond to the stimulating site and quality collection.

“We are starting with very open minds. I suspect we will receive a wide range of responses.”

The Windermere Steamboat Museum is home to a nationally significant collection of steam launches, motor boats, yachts and other vessels which are associated with Lake Windermere and chart its development from 1780 onwards.

It secured an indication from the Heritage Lottery Fund in May that it is likely ro receive a grant of £7.4 million towards redevelopment that would involve partial refurbishment and new exhibition and education spaces plus visitor facilities.

Expressions of interest are sought from architect-led design teams by noon on August 4.  

Following the pre-qualification phase, up to eight teams will be invited to proceed to the design concept stage of the competition.

The brief states: “The design project is complex and challenging. Competitors will need to take into account the requirement of displaying the craft while being conserved, in dry display and in the wet dock, as well as designing an appropriate facility for the sensitive landscape setting and its stunning location to provide a world-class visitor experience.”

Each short-listed team will receive an honorarium of £2,500 and be invited to present their proposals to the judging panel at a final assessment to be held in Bowness. 

As well as Watson, the jury members are: Stuart McKnight of McInnes Usher McKnight Architects (Muma), landscape architect Kim Wilkie, Roger Tempest of Rural Solutions, BD’s editor Ellis Woodman, and Martin Ainscough and Jean Wood, both from Lakeland Arts Trust.

For further details follow the “live competitions” link at www.architecture.com/competitions.



Readers' comments (6)

  • So deeply depressing to see yet another publicly funded project going down the 'pre-qualification' route. Whatever happened to open competition?

    There is no doubt in my mind the client has its short list in mind now and the cultural elite (the judging panel) are ready to crown their favoured heir apparent.

    Who has got the ear of David Watson? They'll probably win. A foregone conclusion dressed up as competition. Sad, very sad.

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  • How does one apply? No link here, and nothing on the RIBA web site

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  • How can this design competition's winner be guaranteed if the project is to be signifantly influenced by local Planning laws and Parish Council bias? The competition seems to ignore this obvious hamstrung hurdle, or is it in the hands of the Ubermench?

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  • bitter pill

    the winner should be the designer with the best concept, not the one who is capable of delivering the project. whatever happened to giving young designers a chance? this is how it is done across much of europe. british cronyism at its best!

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  • I urge my fellow architects to boycott this and other such competitions........Its just another method of getting us all working for nothing, or very little. We recently invested £6000 in our submission for the resent Ullswater Yacht club competition as did 140 other practices only to see a local practice with an extremely poor design win when there were many other fantastic designs submitted. Can anyone explain why competitions are good for our industry in a period when fees are such a hot subject. Surely its just another way of clients getting a vast amount of quality free ideas. RIBA shame on you for supporting this.

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  • Young designers don't have much of a chance of even getting through the PQQ. I certainly don't.

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