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Competition: Reimagining Butler’s Wharf

Butler's Wharf, London
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The London Festival of Architecture (LFA) has launched a contest to rethink the Butler’s Wharf promenade in Shad Thames, south-east London

The competition, supported by the Butler’s Wharf Riverside Trust, invites participants to reimagine the riverside area – which currently lacks a clear sense of place and design cohesion – as a ‘welcoming, green and healthy space for visitors and residents to enjoy.’

The project aims to reconnect visitors and residents to the rich history of the river and wider area, which stretches from St Saviour’s Dock and the former Design Museum building towards Tower Bridge and was transformed from a previously abandoned industrial zone into a residential quarter during the 1980s and 1990s.

According to the brief: ‘Despite its popularity, the riverside promenade at Butler’s Wharf lacks design coherence and a sense of place. The space was completely overlooked when the site was repurposed for housing, and very few of the millions of people who use it every year are aware that the Thames flows underneath. The site is decorated in places by large (and cherished) nautical artefacts but otherwise has evolved accidentally over the years.

‘Now, under the leadership of Butler’s Wharf Riverside Trust and with the support of Southwark Council’s “Cleaner Greener Safer” programme, the design competition is an opportunity to enhance the jetty and to create a pleasant, green and healthy place that reflects the maritime, industrial and human history of Butler’s Wharf. In keeping with the London Festival of Architecture’s mission, the Trust want to democratise the space as somewhere that can welcome everyone and unite the local community.’

Butler’s Wharf – known locally as The Jetty – is a large Grade II-listed complex of former shipping wharfs and warehouses, which was briefly a centre of artistic activity during the 1990s before being redeveloped as luxury residential quarter.

The latest competition invites architects, landscape architects, designers and artists to rethink the Butler’s Wharf promenade as the waterfront path approaches its 100th anniversary in 2022.

Round one submissions must include a biography, 200-word practice description and 300-word justification for applying, with no design work required. Six shortlisted teams will receive £500 each to create two A2 boards outlining their conceptual proposals.

Judges will include Terence Conran; Sarah Gaventa, director of the Illuminated River Foundation; Johanna Gibbons, partner at J & L Gibbons; journalist Ruth Slavid; David Ogunmuyiwa, principal at ArchitectureDoingPlace; Emma Sanderson-Nash of the Butler’s Wharf Riverside Trust; and LFA director Tamsie Thomson.

The winning team will receive a £7,900 (including VAT) fee to work with the trust to develop the project designs up to planning stage. The deadline for applications is midday, 24 July.

How to apply

Visit the competition website for more information

Contact details

Email: rosa@londonfestivalofarchitecture.org

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