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Brits left lagging behind in Europan 9

Figures released by the organisers of the Europan 9 competition have revealed a sorry picture for UK-based architects, with less than 4 per cent of the ‘winners’ coming from Britain.

Out of the lucky 512 competitors to scoop an award in the pan-European housing contest for young architects, only 20 were from the UK. Worryingly only two Brits were recognised in any of the 22 countries outside England – and both were only runners up.

The Italians were the most successful, winning a quarter of all the 196 prizes on offer across the 73 sites. They were followed by the Spanish, who landed 21 per cent of the schemes, the French with 12.5 per cent and the Germans with 10 per cent.

The UK architectural profession has had a difficult relationship with the contest, which has notoriously failed to deliver a single project on these shores but has fared significantly better in the rest of Europe. This year the British judges again failed to find an outright winner for one of the three UK plots – the Skye Edge plot in Sheffield, where two finalists were selected instead.

However, both the RIBA and CABE, who both helped to organise the contest in the UK, say the statistics have not alarmed them.

Richard Brindley, the director of professional services at the RIBA, played down any fears about the future and quality of the country’s next generation of archuitects. He said: ‘This may be a poor showing for UK architects, but there are many other competitions where UK architects do well.

‘If this were to become a pattern over the next few years then it would be a cause for concern, but we have not see evidence to suggest this.'

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