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Comps insider: University College Dublin and Camden High Line contests draw near

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With yet another summer washout on the cards staycationers may find themselves with nothing to lose and much to gain in crossing the Irish Sea for Dublin – home to some of the most changeable weather on earth

The reason being University College Dublin has just fired the starting gun on its search for a competition organiser to find architects for a major 11ha campus overhaul and an ‘iconic’ new 8,000m² arts complex.

The contest will select a ‘world renowned’ talent to radically transform the eastern boundary of the 133ha suburban campus (pictured) in south Dublin which is currently dominated by three large car parks and the site’s main entrance off the R138 dual-carriageway.

The winning scheme will be expected to create a ‘vibrant’ public realm which resolves pedestrian, vehicle and bicycle conflicts, and transforms the university’s connections to the wider city.

Proposals for the new UCD Centre for Creative Design will also need to demonstrate ‘signature and iconic design of the highest architectural merit’. A launch date has yet to be announced and contest organisers have until midday on 30 August to apply.

Over in London meanwhile, Camden Town Unlimited has moved one step further with its ambitious ‘high line’ proposal and could now be months away from launching a search for a design and delivery team.

The BID is now £3,000 away from its £37,000 fundraising target after the Mayor of London pledged £2,500 towards the cost of a transport engineering feasibility study. The investigation will explore the technical side of transforming a 0.8km stretch of raised abandoned railway tracks into a linear park connecting Camden Town with King’s Cross.

Once complete later this year a detailed design brief will be ready to commission a multidisciplinary design team. Initial concepts for the project were drawn up by Studio Weave and Architecture 00 following an earlier invited contest.

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