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AJ competition to redesign Abbey Green in Barking, East London, with Design for London and the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham

The AJ ran a competition to redesign Abbey Green in Barking, East London, with Design for London and the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham. The shortlist is now available

The AJ is working with Design for London and the London Borough of Barking and Dagenham to find designer or team of designers with a vision for Abbey Green, in the heart of Barking.

Abbey Green is an under-used 6.5ha space, with the tough Gascoigne Estate to its south and access to the River Roding to its west. It has huge assets: the Broadway Theatre on the east side of the green, the ruins of a 16th-century abbey, plus two schools, whose students have the potential to animate the green.

Critical to the success of entries will be understanding the green’s role in connecting the town centre with the river. The client is looking for more than just a landscape project, rather a vision for a place of character.

Please use the comments area at the foot of this page to ask any questions related to this project.


Entry check list

All entrants must submit:

  • Two A2 boards. One should use a map of the park (provided as a download above) to show the vision for the park. The second board should be used to provide more detail on that vision. See section 4 for more details.

  • A CD with PDF versions of the A2 boards, all text saved as a Word document without  formatting (.doc or .txt) and all images saved at 300 dpi CMYK actual size.

  • Completed entry form.

  • A completed PQQ form.

Further resource material

Click on the thumbnail below to view a context map of the Abbey Green area. Please note, this is not the same map as required as part of the competition entry.

Readers' comments (14)

Please use the form below to ask any questions you have about the Abbey Green contest. A member of AJ staff will respond to your comments

  • Can a group of Part 3 architects enter the competition?

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  • As the Project requires the winning architect to build the scheme, submitting architects need to fill out PQQ submitting their company details. and need to be able to show they have a viable company. We encourage young architect without practices to team up with a company that would allow them to join this competition.

    As we are encouraging young Architects to join we will not put as much scoring weight to experience, however Architects need to legally be able to enter a contract with the borough.

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  • are chartered landscape architects eligible to enter this competition?

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  • CLA’s as sole practitioners are eligible though they will have satisfy criteria within the PQQ.

  • PQQ question D11 seems to require we have recent design competition experience. Is this is strict pre qualification requirement?

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  • This is not a strict requirement though it may help us to assess the level of experience of each applicant.

  • Hi

    Is there a requirement to register an Expression if interest before the PQQ?


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  • There is no expression of interest requirement prior to the PQQ and Stage 1 submission.

  • Please clarify the status of the PQQ in the judging process.

    Are there any essential criteria in the PQQ that will predetermine whether a practice's entry will have a chance in the design competition? If so, what are the criteria?

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  • This is clarified in the guide to the PQQ

  • Is it at all possible to receive the site map (Appendix 1: Competition site) in AutoCAD format (dwg / dxf)?. Thanks for your help.

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  • question D3 - does this refer to qs/engineers etc that may be necessary consultants that form a part of your team and do you want their details here? or does it refer to actually sub contracting the work out to another designer?

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  • D3 seeks to understand how the contract will be delivered and whether the applicant is merely managing the contract and adding a handling charge to the work of a sub contractor, which generally the Local Authority would want to avoid.

  • Are students of architecture eligible to enter under a solo bidder?

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  • Students are not ruled out of the competition but will have to be able to achieve a 50% pass mark in the PQQ, as any other entrant. The guide to the PQQ shows how the answers are weighted.

  • I should be most grateful if you would clarify the position regarding sub-consultants.

    We are Architects and urban designers and may decide to join forces with a landscape architect.

    If we do this and the landscape architect is a sub-consultant to us, then we are not strictly a consortium as we are not a legal entity. Should we then tick a) or b) in response to A1?

    Does the landscape architect need to complete a pqq in full which then gets bound together with ours as one response from “the team” or do we just supply their details in section A16 or A17?

    I’d be really grateful if you would let me know as soon as possible.

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  • You would not be entering as a consortium but as your own company with the likelihood of some assistance from a subcontractor so please tick 'a' for question A1. Involving a subcontractor is considered entirely normal practice however question D19 is designed to gauge the extent that you would pass the work to a subcontractor.

    Your subcontractor would not need to fill out a PQQ as our contract, if you were successful, would be with yourselves.

    You would not need to complete A17 as you are not entering as a consortium. All the same, it would only be helpful if you identified the subcontractor in any supporting information.

  • Is the pqq available as a word document?

    If not, can we copy and paste the contents of the pdf PQQ into our own format and then save this as a pdf to return?

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  • The PQQ is now available as a Word document. It can downloaded from the list of files in the right-hand column of this page.

  • 1.Could you give us more historical information about ruins? We tried to look for it, but we couldn't find it.

    2.Is there some requirement about how to concerve ruins?

    3.Is there some drawing with more detail information for the elementary schools and the church? Do you have any information of the height for buildings sorrounding the site?

    4.Is it possible to reconstruct the two elementary schools?

    5. We'd like to know the scale, counter line and levels for the site plan.

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  • Stage 1 entrants will be judged on their response to the brief. Further information will be released at stage 2 including an Audience development plan and an archaeological study of the site

  • Please can you let us know when to expect to hear whether or not our submission has been successfull?


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  • I just checked all the 6 shortlisted Candidates:

    Darling Associates, McDowell + Benedetti, Hawkins\Brown, Tonkin Liu, Lynch Architects, Leit-Werk

    all have one thing in common: They are all London offices......... Interesting, given the fact, that there are plenty of international and national (not London based) offices that took part and were not shortlisted.

    I get the feeling that the location of the offices was one of the assessment criteria. If that is the case, it would be a pity.

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