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RIBA open competition to overhaul 'confusing' Leeds museum entrance - images

A new competition has been launched to find an architect to redesign the unfriendly and 'confusing' entrance area to Leeds' Royal Armouries Museum.

Entrants to the RIBA-organised contest will have to come up with designs to overhaul the West Yorkshire attraction's existing entrance hall and foyer-like circulation areas known as 'The Street'.

Designed by Derek Walker Associates, the waterside building was only opened in 1996.

However, according to the competition brief, the current 'street' - from which visitors access exhibitions, cafes and a shop - is unwelcoming and baffling: 'At present, it is felt that the Street area lacks a visitor-friendly entrance. What is required is an obvious and welcoming focal point where guests can be helped and directed towards their particular purpose or interest.'

The brief continues: 'The current information offered to the museum visitor is dissipated and confusing and is presented in an ad-hoc manner.'

Working to a budget of around £250,000, it is hoped that the winning scheme will make the area more family friendly and will be 'clear, strong and informative' for the visitor.

From the initial expressions of interest, four teams will be shortlisted and each will receive an honorarium of £3,000.

The preliminary briefing paper can be obtained from the RIBA Competitions Office and the deadline for expressions of interest is 5 March.

by Richard Waite

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