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BDP wins contest to reconnect Rochdale town centre

BDP has scooped the RIBA-backed competition for new public realm proposals as part of plans to reconnect disjointed elements of Rochdale town centre

The practice’s Manchester office saw off Adam Khan Architects, Atkins, Bauman Lyons and Land Use Consultants in the contest to find a team to transform the town centre as the local authority prepares to re-open the River Roch.

The winning scheme, which has an estimated budget of £3million, includes glass viewing platforms allowing visitors to see historic bridges which will be re-exposed as the waterway is uncovered.

The panel which chose the winning design consisted of Rochdale Council leader Colin Lambert, Rochdale Council’s head of planning Mark Robinson, local architect Paul Clark, chartered landscape architect Annie Coombes and architect and urban designer Charles Wilson.

Lambert, said: ‘It was difficult to choose a winner from such an exceptional shortlist but BDP’s design really stood out.

‘The transformation of the public realm on and around the Butts will enhance the river reopening, and is an incredibly exciting project and a critical part of our regeneration plans. Along with our £100million development agreement, it will move us closer to the fantastic town centre our residents and visitors deserve.’

A second stage bid for Heritage Lottery money to reopen the river will be submitted in February with the council expecting the results in the summer.

The jury:

Rochdale Council leader Colin Lambert, Rochdale Council’s head of planning Mark Robinson, local architect Paul Clark, chartered landscape architect Annie Coombes and architect and urban designer, Charles Wilson.

Previous story (AJ 30.07.2013)

Architects sought to reconnect Rochdale

A competition has been launched to connect disjointed elements of Rochdale town centre.

RIBA has joined Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council and Places Matter! to launch the contest to breathe life back into the heart of the Greater Manchester town.

The winning scheme, expected to cost up to £3 million, will need to complement the restoration of a medieval bridge over the River Roch.

Peter Williams, RIBA competitions councillor and Rochdale Council cabinet member for economic development, said: ‘Our exciting plans to re-open the River Roch will reveal the hidden history of the bridge and the river. 

‘Through the international design competition, we are challenging urbanists to create a high quality public realm around the river reopening, which will enhance the setting of the town’s heritage assets and improve connections north and south of the river.’

Deadline for receipt of designs is 2pm on Tuesday 10 September. Stage 1 entries will be judged anonymously and five teams will shortlisted to proceed to the second stage.

AJ reported earlier this month that FaulknerBrowns Architects’ £42.5 million new council HQ was a worthy addition to the civic architecture of Rochdale.

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