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Modular architecture bowls into the 21st century

The EC3 Design Group has won an riba competition to design the bowling alley of the future with a futuristic prefabricated pod design in which different environments can be projected on to the surrounding screens.

The group - Sharon Berlin, Paul Gulati, Jason Holley, Graham Howard, John Lapthorne, and Peter Moy - was awarded the £4000 first prize last week in the contest promoted by First Leisure Corporation. First Leisure asked the 20 entrants to invent a new context for bowling 'with wit and intelligence; a concern for people and the environment, cities and towns it is a part of, but above all with an understanding of the thrill of bowling'.

The cinematic pods, or 'Superbowl' - holding six to eight alleys each - are envisaged as being supplied in easily transportable kit form. They can be plugged into each other in a host of different ways including above car parking or stacked. They could also be hired as economical temporary features.

Inside they would emphasise the concept of automation, with food-vending machines and bowling shoes delivered on an overhead track.

Competition judge Nigel Coates announced the winners last week at riba hq, along with the second prize, which went to Sarah Allan and Stephen Sinclair; third prize went to Jason Griffiths and commendations to Metz Architects with Media Projects International, Leicester, and to Beanland Associates, Leiston.

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