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RIBA launches £20m King's College quad contest

[Deadline for expressions of interest 1 June] The RIBA has launched a competition to redesign King’s College London’s main campus

Architects are invited to complete a pre-qualification questionnaire for the project which focuses on the university’s Strand Quadrangle and associated buildings (pictured).

Up to five practices are expected to be shortlisted for the £20 million scheme to create 3,700m² extra teaching space and student facilities.

Shortlisted teams will receive a £5,000 (+VAT) honorarium to develop their proposals. The jury panel will include Niall McLaughlin acting as RIBA Architect Advisor.

King’s College will chose a winner on their ‘ability to bring innovative thinking to a significant historical site’ and ‘revitalise a learning community’ – according to a statement.

Located partly inside the east wing of William Chamber’s Somerset House, the university campus includes an 1831 building by Robert Smirke and a George Gilbert Scott-designed Byzantine Gothic chapel.

King’s College hopes to accommodate 2,600 students more students on the site which currently hosts around 9,200 students and 1,500 staff.

The deadline for expressions of interest is 2pm on 1 June.

King's College London design competition


Readers' comments (3)

  • Another form filling exercise from the RIBA.
    I'm guessing a shortlist of ...
    Stanton Williams
    6a Architects (token younger practice)
    David Chipperfield
    BIG (token EU practice)

    Unsuitable or offensive?

  • Funny as it is, I think the Construction Information Service is quite wrong in its assessment. The client and Niall McLaughlin are very keen to get younger practices from the UK and internationally to apply. I hear - although I might be wrong - that the form asks to see the work you do (present tense) not what you have done, so it can be intellectual projects, unbuilt, etc. And that if you don't have the scale of insurance necessary for such a big commission, etc, you can tick a box to say you will partner with a bigger practice to do the project. I hear that this is a very REAL OPPORTUNITY for a younger talented practice to build an amazingly significant project. What the client wants is an ability to deal with this historic context to create a world-leading new space for its students (education is a competitive game these days) and the application and judging process has been set up to enable that.

    Unsuitable or offensive?

  • The brief states that the first stage is 'anonymous'... but the key assesment is focused around a 'case study' and it asks for you to illustrates a project from concept through to completion. Maximum marks will be achived by high profile published projects that can demonstrate through publication and awards the level of quality and innovation the brief is asking for. Those practices that have built big and built well will score the highest points... there is simply no point in the 'anonymity', unless they ask for specific thinking about this site and this project.

    Unsuitable or offensive?

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