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RIBA London opens £25k East End market stalls contest

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RIBA’s London Region has announced a design competition for a £25,000 series of market stalls at Chrisp Street Market in Poplar

Backed by Tower Hamlets Council and site owner Poplar HARCA, the Middle of the Market contest seeks proposals which ‘fundamentally rethink the market stall for the modern age’.

RIBA London director Tamsie Thomson said: ‘Local traders are central to the success of the market. The new stall will help current traders to thrive and grow in a rapidly changing retail environment.’

The winning team – set to be announced 11 January – will receive £25,000 to construct three prototype stalls for the iconic East End market.

Designed by Harlow New Town architect Frederick Gibberd, the purpose-built pedestrian shopping area first opened in 1951 as part of the Festival of Britain.

The market currently hosts around 80 stalls and is visited by 1,500 each day. Nearby landmarks include the £3 million ‘Ideas Store’ library completed by David Adjaye in 2004.

Poplar HARCA has earmarked part of the market for a £300 million regeneration – designed by Sheppard Robson – which is expected to deliver 700 extra homes and 1,000m² of business space.

According to the contest brief, proposals will be expected to ‘capture the “legacy” of a Chrisp Street Market Stall and the heritage of the local area’.

The document continued: ‘The aim is for the market structure to eventually be replicable in the redevelopment of Chrisp Street Market. The Middle of the Market project is part of a wider movement to support the current traders to survive and grow with these changes while remaining central to the active community.’

Three shortlisted teams will each receive an honorarium to participate in the competition.

The deadline for submissions is 7 December.





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