Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios (FCBS) has stolen in to land the contest to mastermind the redevelopment of Kirkstall Forge in Leeds – even though the practice was not named as one of the original competition finalists.
Developer Commercial Estates Group (CEG) told the AJ that none of the schemes proposed by the three firms shortlisted in the high-profile contest – Allies and Morrison, PCKO, and Proctor and Matthews – were good enough to be taken forward.
Now, in a surprise move, the developer has turned to FCBS to deliver the much-anticipated development, which will include around 1,400 new homes and 16,500m2 of offices, shops and restaurants on the historic 23ha site next to the River Aire.
FCBS was invited to visit the site in spring 2007 when CEG first began its search for an architect, but did not make the final shortlist, announced over a year ago (AJ online 20.06.07).
Explaining the decision not to run with any of the finalists, Jon Kenny from CEG said: ‘[Having] spent a great deal of time looking at the original three proposals we have now come to the conclusion that none of them completely satisfy our design, commercial and development aspirations for the site.’
He added: ‘One particular issue is the need to provide high-quality family accommodation at urban densities that is attractive to the private sector.’
None of the losing practices or FCBS were willing to comment.