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First look: RIBA unveils Whitehaven contest finalists

The AJ can exclusively reveal the five shortlisted schemes in the competition to design a £10 million mixed-used luxury apartment and office scheme in Whitehaven Harbour, Cumbria

Chosen from 139 entries, the finalists include Milan-based Renato Sarno Group with Proginvest, RMJM, Richard Murphy Architects, ShedKM Architects and Austin-Smith Lord.

The Whitehaven Harbour Central contest is being run by RIBA Competitions for regeneration organisation Britain’s Energy Coast West Cumbria and Magnus Homes. Submitted anonymously, the stage two submissions will go on public display next month with a winner to be announced in late November 2010. Each of the shortlisted teams will receive a £4,440 honorarium.

The finalists:

- Austin-Smith Lord LLP

- Renato Sarno Group Srl and Proginvest Srl

- Richard Murphy Architects

- RMJM Scotland

- ShedKM Architects

The site - Whitehaven marina

The site - Whitehaven marina

Judges comments:

Celia MacKenzie, chief executive of Whitehaven Harbour Commissioners said: ‘The standard of the schemes put forward in this competition, for this significant site between the Harbour and Town of Whitehaven, have been truly outstanding.

‘The five shortlisted schemes have come through very thorough scrutiny, and the result are five schemes selected from national and international architectural teams, providing for exactly the high quality development that Whitehaven deserves. The winning design will undoubtedly enhance the regenerated Harbour but equally important connect it further with the Town.  This is a most exciting opportunity for Whitehaven’s future.’ 

Stephen Hodder, RIBA Architect Adviser and founder of Hodder + Partners said: ‘The hortlisted schemes in their different ways integrate the town with the harbour-front in an appropriate, but contemporary way. I am convinced that any of the schemes could become a worthy addition to Whitehaven.’ 

Readers' comments (8)

  • Scheme B looks the best at first glance without seeing any further details.

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  • Please not scheme C

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  • Don't have anything against Scheme C particularly, except why is it that all Richard Murphy projects look the same?

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  • Scheme D....?

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  • scheme d has my vote

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  • I think Scheme D would integrate very nicely into the harbour-front setting.

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  • Scheme D Please. The only one touched by human hands.

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  • Scheme D.. are you kidding? It looks like its been touched by the human hand of a 12 year old for an art project.
    @ anon 5:59 Please tell me how.. tell me about its architecture.. do you think it will have all those curves leaning left to right? The mound in the middle?
    Please.. come on, how can this be taken seriously on the strength of that image.

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