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AJ exclusive: shortlist named in Bird College contest

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Harry Gugger Studios has been named on an intriguing six-strong shortlist to mastermind the overhaul of Bird College, Sidcup.

The former Herzog & de Meuron star and brains behind the Tate Modern transformation is collaborating with London’s Friend and Company in the competition for the £13 million project. The team is vying against Dutch big-hitters Mecanoo Architecten, Carmody Groarke, Eric Parry Architects, this year’s Doolan Prize-winner Gareth Hoskins Architects, and Sarah Wigglesworth Architects.

The six were chosen from 95 entrants from across Europe in the RIBA-backed competition which was launched in August to create a ‘coherent 6,000m² new facility’ for the school of dance, music and theatre, currently split over six sites in Kent (pictured).

Shirley Coen, principal and chief executive of Bird College said: ‘This was a very challenging process as the quality of the submissions were very high. This will be an exciting process for the college, both in terms of what it means for our future and the creative collaboration that we will have with our eventual winner.’

The six shortlisted teams will present their ideas to the jury, which includes Maggie’s Centres’ chief executive Laura Lee, in the new year.

Greg Penoyre is acting as RIBA architectural adviser to the competition while June Denton is working as a strategic adviser to the College.

Full shortlist

  • Carmody Groarke
  • Eric Parry Architects
  • Gareth Hoskins Architects
  • Harry Gugger Studio with Friend and Company
  • Mecanoo Architecten
  • Sarah Wigglesworth Architects



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