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AJ exclusive: Richard Murphy bags Whitehaven contest

[FIRST LOOK] Richard Murphy Architects has won the RIBA Competition to design a £10 million mixed-used luxury apartment and office scheme in Whitehaven Harbour, Cumbria

The Edinburgh-based practice saw off fellow finalists RMJM, Milan-based Renato Sarno Group with Proginvest, ShedKM Architects and Austin-Smith Lord.

The Whitehaven Harbour Central Site contest, which was backed by Britain’s Energy Coast West Cumbria and Magnus Homes attracted 139 submissions, making it one of the most popular competitions this year.

The judges described the victorious proposals for the Mark House and Park Nightclub site as ‘a very clever working of the plan’ which would ‘generate a rhythm appropriate to the urban grain of Whitehaven’.

Richard Murphy’s response to a challenging brief is delightful

Stephen Hodder, RIBA architect adviser and founder of Hodder + Partners said: ‘Richard Murphy’s response to a challenging brief is delightful. It is a sophisticated three dimensional solution which addresses the many demanding requirements. The organisation of the proposals is ingenious with flexible office space being surmounted by a considered arrangement of apartments, all of which have sea views, many of which by distinctive ‘lantern windows’.

‘It captures the spirit of this remarkable Georgian town and will reconnect it with the harbourside, adding an appropriate contemporary layer to its fabric.’

Intriguingly the scheme came last in an online poll in October when the AJ revealed the five shortlisted schemes.

Richard Murphy Architects' victorious design in the RIBA's Whitehaven Central Harbour site competition - staircase into the living accommodation

Richard Murphy Architects’ victorious design in the RIBA’s Whitehaven Central Harbour site competition - staircase into the living accommodation

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