Apparata Architects and IF_DO teams in fray for £500k ‘travelling performance space’


Source: Karol Wyszynski

RIBA National Award-winning practice Apparata Architects and IF Design Office have been shortlisted in an international design competition for a travelling performance space that can be used at a variety of locations for next year’s Bradford City of Culture festival.

Apparata’s A House for Artists in Barking was one of 30 National Award winning projects revealed last month. The scheme is also in the running for for this year’s Neave Brown Award.

Apparata and IF_DO are joined on the Bradford shortlist by teams led by Carter Gregson Gray, GWP Architecture and FAUM Architecture, and New Practice. (See box below for full team details.)

RIBA Competitions said expressions of interest in the fray to design the £500k performance space had come from as far afield as Australia, India, Mexico and the United States.

Tumpa Husna Yasmin Fellows, who is RIBA’s architect adviser for the competition, said the open call, which launched last month, had resulted in “interesting collaborations” and diverse approaches being proposed to design the venue, which will be known as “Beacon”.


Source: Tim Green / Flickr

Lister Park in Bradford could be one site for the temporary venue during next year’s City of Culture celebrations

“We are looking forward to the design phase, working with the teams to unpack the stories that connect with and celebrate Bradford’s cultural heritage and cosmopolitan communities,” she said.

“This design opportunity intends to increase awareness in the local heritage and the global connections with Bradford, by facilitating the access to the arts through the lens of decolonial or an expanded architecture and design practice, addressing spatial justice and climate crisis.”

Dan Bates, executive director of Bradford 2025, said ambitions for the City of Culture festival had always included “dialling up” the host’s global profile.

“It’s been brilliant to see that through the design submission process we’ve attracted so much international interest,” he said. “The focus on sustainability and inclusivity has been central to all the responses and I’m looking forward to seeing the outcome of the design phase.”

The shortlisted teams will present their concept design proposals to the evaluation panel in September.

Bradford City of Culture Beacon competition: Full shortlist

:: Apparata Architects with Arinjoy Sen and Structure Workshop

:: Carter Gregson Gray with Structure Workshop, Studio 4215 & Studio Three Sixty

:: GWP Architecture Ltd and FAUM Architecture with EMPACE and Bradford Moor Pass

:: IF Design Office Ltd with Street Space Community CIC and Simple Works TLD

:: New Practice with Common Wealth and Reeves & Bond