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Stern drops out of Chelsea Barracks running as full teams revealed


American Robert AM Stern has withdrawn from the contest to masterplan the controversial Chelsea Barracks site, but a raft of new names have been added by the 10 teams still vying for the project

Among the practices that have emerged as new ‘specialist’ additions, joining bidders on the longlist, are Thomas Heatherwick and AHMM. Both worked previously on the scheme as part of the Richard Rogers-led team, which was sensationally ditched by developers Project Blue Guernsey, part of Qatari Diar, in June following the highly-publicised intervention from Prince Charles.

The full list (newcomers in italics)

  • Alan Baxter & Associates LLP, Paul Davis and Partners, Liam O’Connor Architects, Heatherwick Studio, and Todd Longstaffe-Gowan
  • Porphyrios Associates and Allies and Morrison, Townshend Landscape Architects
  • Duany Plater-Zyberk & Company, KPF London, Paul Murrain, ZEDfactory, Merrill Pastor Colgan Architects, Gillespies Landscape Architects
  • Dixon Jones Limited, Glenn Howells Architects
  • Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, AHMM, Macreanor Lavington Architects, Alison Brooks Architects, Grant Associates
  • Terry Farrell and Partners, Panter Hudspith, Peter Barber Architects, Chris Dyson Architects
  • Hamiltons Architects and Think Place and Patel Taylor
  • Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands, Haworth Tompkins Architects, Churchman Landscape Architects
  • Robert Adam Architects, Ash Sakula Architects, LDADesign
  • Squire and Partners and Kim Wilkie Associates

The Bob Stern team has been replaced by Robert Adam Architects and Ash Sakula Architects, which had been collaborating with Robert Stern.

A Chelsea Barracks Partnership spokesman commented:  ‘We are confident that the 10 candidate teams that have been assembled will achieve our objective of securing an outstanding range of masterplan experience and a broad sweep of design approaches for the Chelsea Barracks site.’

‘This is the case not only across the ten candidate teams but within them as well.’


Previous story (12.08.09)

Chelsea Barracks: ten new practices in the running

Leading masterplanners from the UK and the US have been named on a ten-strong long list of practices vying to take over from the ditched Richard Rogers-led team on the contentious Chelsea Barracks scheme.

Chosen from more than 50 bidders, the finalists include Terry Farrell, Allies and Morrison, Stirling Prize-winners Feilden Clegg Bradley and Americans Bob Stern and Andres Duany.

Scheme backers Project Blue Guernsey – part of Qatari Diar – controversially dropped the previous architectural team, headed by Rogers Strik Harbour + Partners (original scheme pictured right), from the London development in June following the highly-publicised ‘intervention’ from Prince Charles.

And in a further swipe at Roger’s practice, the developer said it was now looking for a ‘masterplanner’ rather than an ‘architect’ adding that the ‘fresh approach’ would be ‘an iterative process which engages the community…. and [would be] about the creation of “places” rather than object buildings.’

It went on to say that it intended to draw up a ‘masterplan design code’ which would allows buildings to be designed by ‘a number of architects’ over a series of phases.

The developer confirmed the development would continue to focus on housing but could also include a six-star boutique hotel, shops, a public sports centre, a Primary Care Trust health clinic, a community centre, children’s play area and a private health club.

A spokesman added: ‘The masterplan approach will focus on achieving the right urban design solution for the whole site, independent of the architecture of individual buildings. 

‘This will allow development in phases, with detailed planning applications for each phase being made over time.

‘[This] approach will also allow the scheme to better incorporate the needs of the local community through the consultation process’.

The ten-strong longlist, listed below, will eventually be whittled down to three finalists (November) with a view to submitting a new planning application to Westminster City Council by late spring next year (2010).

The full Chelsea Barracks list

Alan Baxter & Associates LLP and Paul Davis and Partners 
Porphyrios Associates and Allies and Morrison
Duany Plater-Zyberk & Company + others
Dixon Jones Limited
Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios
Terry Farrell and Partners
Hamiltons Architects and Think Place and Patel Taylor
Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands + others
Robert A.M. Stern Architects + others
Squire and Partners and Kim Wilkie Associates


Speaking about the shortlist announcement, Hank Dittmar from the Prince’s Foundation for the Built Environment, which helped advise on the choice of masterplanning teams, said: ‘We are encouraged to see that the emphasis is now on masterplanning and community engagement rather than architecture because that is  what is needed at this stage. 

‘We look forward to continuing to work with Qatari Diar to ensure that the resultant scheme is one that fits into  the community and is also commercially viable.’




Readers' comments (15)

  • No starachitects in there. Perhaps they really do want to listen.... I reckon the final three will be: Porphyrios + A&M; Farrell; and Hamiltons with Patel Taylor

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  • Booooooring...

    I've farted more interesting shortlists...

    Allies and Morrison...the grand banal.

    Soon enough we are all going to live in an Allies and Morrison-masterplanned town. We can sing the "Robbie Fowler" song as we drive down their carefully crafted streetscapes.

    Altogether now (to tune of Yellow Submarine): "We all live in an Allies n' Morrison house, an Allies n' Morrison house...an Allies n' Morrison house."

    Glad to see Bob Stern on there...nice chap.

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  • Another A&M snorefest one the way...or a Hamiltons monstrosity.

    Be good to see Paul David and Partners get the job...they have done a lot down SW1

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  • That's quite a skill Manfred, you should take it to the Edinburgh Fringe.

    But could you place a 6b pencil between your bum cheeks, stand above you desk and drop it on a tracing roll to make a concept proposal more interesting than Andres Duany?

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  • This shortlist is no great surprise and unfortunately I doubt that a single one of the contenders will produce anything remotely exciting, or joyful let alone of any architectural merit.

    And if it’s now all about “place-making”, a word that’s been prostituted so many times that it has lost its meaning, then someone needs to spend some time taking a look at the ‘masterplanning’ section on some of the shortlistees’ websites… It’s all just sooo banal.

    Julia Feix, Feix&Merlin

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  • Alan,
    I can't do a Duany, but I have done many an Allsop in my time.

    Especially following a night on the tiles...

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  • I rather like them all!

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  • In truth Manfred, "The Bum Drop" is a difficult move but one practiced many times at New Urbanism charettes

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  • And Alan Dunlop knows a great deal about *rsiness.

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  • My initial thought is that the list is pretty broad - ranging from designers with a track record for thoughtful and innovative projects, like Dixon Jones, to practices which could be described as really pretty bland and commercial.

    It might be best not to make a single choice at all but, since it is such an extensive development, to allow a number of architects to contribute under the aegis of a comprehensive urban master-plan. This would avoid the risk of overbearing uniformity displayed by the recently abandoned scheme.

    Hugh Cullum, director, Hugh Cullum Architects

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