The Glasgow Institute of Architects has announced an ideas contest to regenerate the Midsteeple Quarter area of Dumfries town centre
Open to architects, landscape architects, urban designers and other related disciplines, the anonymous competition seeks ‘innovative yet practical’ proposals to transform a former retail space, known as the Bakers Oven, and its immediate surroundings.
The project, backed by arts organisation The Stove Network, aims to regenerate the Midsteeple Quarter block of Georgian buildings bounded by High Street, Bank Street and Irish Street in the heart of the historic market town.
According to the brief: ‘The Midsteeple Quarter competition is first and foremost an ideas competition to envisage an innovative new approach to town-centre living and being. The goal of the Stove Network is to see the high street re-energised and repopulated, contributing inclusively to the local community and economy.
‘The competition is looking for innovative yet practical solutions with regards to the building fabric of the Bakers Oven, a conscious solution to a sustainable energy strategy with a people-centred focus and a vision for the quarter.’
Dumfries grew into a major market town during the medieval era, but in recent years has seen its high street – like many others throughout the UK –struggle to attract investment.
Last year The Stove Network set up a community-led project to regenerate the town centre, reactivate vacant retail spaces and encourage more residential use within the district. The initiative has so far focused on the Midsteeple stretch of Dumfries High Street, where a disused shop front has been temporarily transformed into a community engagement space known as the Bakers Oven.
The latest project seeks ideas to convert the property at 137-139 High Street into a socially sustainable space which could kick start transformation of the wider Midsteeple Quarter. Visions must encompass the entire block, which features many retail properties and several closes.
Submissions should include two conceptual visualisations in PDF or jpg format, and a 1,000-word project description. Videos up to 60 seconds long may also be submitted.
GIA members must pay a £25 registration fee while non-members will be charged £30. The judging panel has yet to be announced.
The overall winner, to be announced at the end of May, will receive £1,000, while a second place prize of £500 and third place prize of £300 will also be awarded. All entries will feature in public exhibitions in Dumfries and Glasgow.
Interested parties may book a free ticket to attend a site tour in Dumfries on 22 April. The deadline for submissions is 15 May.
How to apply
Visit the competition website for more information