The City of London Corporation has announced an international ideas contest to transform the City of London’s north-west corner into a new arts district
Open to architects, landscape architects designers, artists and recent graduates, the competition seeks proposals to boost cultural activity within underused public spaces throughout the area.
The call for proposals is part of the City of London’s ‘Culture Mile’ initiative which, with support from Fluid, aims to create a major destination for culture and creativity in the area between Moorgate and Farringdon over the next 10-15 years.
According to the brief: ‘A number of themes have emerged from the Culture Mile’s new public realm strategy, developed by Fluid. This design competition brief relates to one of the main themes – “Take the Inside Out”.
‘Entries should explore this concept, through answering the question: Can you identify spaces and/or opportunities within the Culture Mile where we can bring “the inside outside”?’
In July, the City of London Corporation outlined proposals for a new Culture Mile, a planned cultural hub in the north-west corner of the capital’s historic Square Mile.
The route will include three major building projects: the transformation of Beech Street beneath the Barbican; the new Museum of London designed by Stanton Williams and Asif Khan; and the proposed £200-£250 million Centre for Music, for which a star-studded shortlist was recently announced, including Amanda Levete, Norman Foster, Frank Gehry and Renzo Piano.
Hawkins\Brown has already carried out a feasibility study for the Beech Street project. A professional team to take the project forward is expected to be appointed in the next 12 to 18 months.
The Culture Mile initiative – supported by the Barbican, Guildhall School of Music & Drama, London Symphony Orchestra and Museum of London – is a long-term project, with a completion date over the next 10 to 15 years.
Fluid is working with the City to develop a public realm strategy for the area, which is expected to feature ‘imaginative collaborations, outdoor programming and events’ all year long.
Culture Mile Summer Speculations
The latest call for ideas seeks conceptual proposals for the architectural and design future of the zone.
Submissions should respond to the ‘Take the Inside Out’ theme with a range of innovative interventions for the area’s public spaces including parks, gardens, hidden lanes, underground spaces, the Beech Street tunnel, the night-time Smithfield meat market, and the Barbican podium level. Concepts should encourage outdoors cultural activity and be fully accessible to the general public.
Applications must include at least one A1-sized image along with a textual summary and team details. Six shortlisted teams will each receive a small honorarium, attend crits with the Culture Mile team and seek their work featured in an exhibition.
The overall winner will work with the City to deliver a temporary installation within the district, signalling the first steps in the animation and transformation of the area.
The deadline for applications is 5pm, 7 September.
How to apply
The City Centre
80 Basinghall St
Tel: 020 7600 8362