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Neu Architects’ competition winning design for Bacup, Lancashire

Images of Neu Architects’ winning proposal for the Pennine Lancashire Squared Competition are unveiled

The outline images show Neu Architects’ proposal – a collaborative effort with Loci Design – for Bacup’s town centre. The development includes a running water feature, one level surface layout (intended to encourage pedestrians to ‘walk freely’) and a ‘green spine’ of trees to link the town closer to its countryside surroundings.

The architect aims to combine exciting place-making with a friendly town centre of which the community will take ownership. By levelling out the centre’s surfaces, Neu Architects intended to enable businesses to offer more outdoor seating and also to give pedestrians a larger and safer space to walk in.

On market days or when a public meeting area is needed, colourfully planted containers can be moved to form a barrier to road traffic, safely sealing off the centre.

The public water feature is a reference to Bacup’s history and the River Irwell, which runs below the town. As a focal point, the architect is planning a listening tower, which will bring the sounds of the river to the surface and hopefully attract more visitors to the town.

The competition to design the new centre for Bacup was part of a broader competition throughout Lancashire run by the Landscape Institute and commissioned by Elevate, a regeneration agency working to improve the housing market in Pennine Lancashire. Neu Architects’ proposal beat shortlisted entries from Patel Taylor, Grant Associates, Gillespies and Taylor Young. Feasibility and detailed design are estimated to begin in early 2010.

The winners of the Pennine Lancashire Squared Competition in other towns were:

Landscape Projects (Liverpool)

MESH Partnership with Studio Weave (Bath)

Civic Architects (London)
Colour: Urban Design

DSDHA (London)

Robinson Landscape (Newcastle)
Reid Jubb Brown (Newcastle)
Kapok (Berlin)

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