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Competition: Albion Wharf, Ipswich

Albion Wharf, Ipswich
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RIBA Suffolk has launched a UK-wide student ideas contest to rethink the half-finished Albion Wharf development on Ipswich Waterfront

Open to Part I and Part II students at UK architecture schools, the competition seeks innovative visions to transform the half-constructed residential development, known locally as the Winerack, which stalled after the financial crash in 2009 but has now been purchased by a new owner who plans to complete the scheme.

The new annual Savin Award student competition has been launched in memory of the former RIBA Suffolk chair and architect Mark Savin who died last year. The project aims to raise awareness of the opportunities for young architects to practise in England’s eastern region.

According to the brief: ‘Albion Wharf, a prominent feature on the Ipswich Waterfront, commenced in 2007 but was stopped in 2009 following the financial crash. It has remained as a concrete frame since then but has recently been purchased by John Howard who has engaged contractor R G Carter to complete the scheme.

‘With kind permission from the developer and contractor, RIBA Suffolk have launched The Savin Award design competition around this project and will invite students to provide their own interpretation of the development using the existing concrete frame as a base structure for their own designs. RIBA Suffolk will encourage entrants to analyse the building and its context to generate their own brief and prepare designs for their vision of the completed project.’

Ipswich is the county town of Suffolk and home to around 180,000 people. The historic waterfront is in the process of a major regeneration and features a raft of landmark developments including The Mill by John Lyall Architects.

The latest competition comes as pressure mounts on the RIBA’s competition service – which is subordinate to the institute and separate from the RIBA Suffolk chapter – over serious irregularities in its Upper Orwell Crossings contest.

The £100 million project, won by Foster + Partners one year ago, aims to ease road congestion and stimulate regeneration in the city by delivering two new road crossings at Ipswich Docks and the refurbishment of an existing swing bridge nearby.

The launch of the student award coincides with the opening of a new School of Architecture at the University of Suffolk which will host a BA Architecture degree in September 2018.

Submissions must include two A1-sized digital presentation boards along with a written project description. Judges include Sarah Wigglesworth of Sarah Wigglesworth Architects, Meredith Bowles of Mole Architects, and Jerene Irwin from the Norfolk Association of Architects.

Shortlisted teams will feature in an exhibition at the university and the overall winner will receive £500.

The deadline for applications is 5pm, 31 August.

How to apply

Visit the competition website for more information

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