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Competition: St Paul’s Plinth 2020

KHBT's with Ottmar Hörl's 2019 contest-winning whose proposal ‘Lunchbreak’
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The London Festival of Architecture (LFA) has launched a second design contest for a £12,500 installation close to St Paul’s Cathedral

The competition – now in its second year – invites architects, designers and artists to propose a futuristic and contextual installation which builds on an existing frame structure – known as the St Paul’s Gateway – completed by ScottWhitbyStudio and Arup as part of 2018’s festival.

The project, supported by Cheapside Business Alliance, aims to harness the canopy outside St Paul’s tube station ‘as a basis for new work that can both resonate with the site’s rich heritage and offer a glimpse into the potential zero carbon future of the Square Mile.’ The winning team will work with the client and Arup to see their scheme installed in time for next year’s LFA in June.

LFA director Tamsie Thomson said: ‘’The project is designed to connect the widest possible public with the city around them, and to address how the City of London – the financial powerhouse of the UK – can transition towards a zero-carbon future. This is a significant commission with the potential to tackle big themes, and we are grateful to the City of London Corporation and Cheapside Business Alliance for their continued support.”

City of London Corporation’s planning and transportation committee chair Alastair Moss said: ‘This is a fantastic opportunity to showcase an exceptional piece of work in one of London’s most iconic locations. We’re delighted to support the St Paul’s Plinth project as it provides an artistic and architectural platform that will link the area’s long history with our innovative, zero carbon future.”

The St Paul’s Gateway installation was commissioned as part of 2018’s festival and features 400 highly reflective anodised aluminium poles suspended vertically from a simple lightweight structural canopy.

The suspended part of the installation was removed in May 2019, leaving the trapezoidal gateway structure standing and ready for ‘a second life’ as a plinth. The inaugural competition was won by KHBT with Ottmar Hörl whose proposals ‘Lunchbreak’ (pictured) featured a collection of 40 golden angels watching over commuters in the area.

Proposals for the next installation must be safe, durable, low-maintenance and low-cost. Concepts should respond to the City of London’s aim of delivering Zero Carbon by 2050 and could explore themes relating to renewable energy generation and decarbonisation. A strategy to repurpose the installation in the run up to Christmas is also encouraged.

Submissions must include a concept image, 200-word description, a team photo, biographies, and contact details. Judges Include Thomson; ScottWhitbyStudio director Alex Scott-Whitby; Ruth Duston, executive director of the Cheapside Business Alliance; and Arup senior structural engineer Marc Easton.

The deadline for applications is 12noon on 2 December.

How to apply

Visit the competition website for more Information

Contact details

Email: rosa@londonfestivalofarchitecture.org

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