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Europan: UK winners unveiled

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Transition zones were the subject of this year's Europan, the biennial housing competition designed to further the work of young architects in Europe. Entrants were able to choose one of 70 urban sites across Europe, all of which are undergoing a period of economic and physical change. The solutions were expected to combine a range of mixed-use buildings with a coherent urban strategy for the spaces in-between.

The UK sites were selected by the Architecture Foundation in association with the London Borough of Hackney, Woodberry Down Estate , Manchester City Council, Urban Splash, Peckham Partnership and the London Borough of Southwark. All of these parties have expressed a commitment to ensuring that the winning entries eventually get built. The judges were Les Sparks from the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment, Sylvie Pierce of Capital and Provident Regeneration, AJ editor Isabel Allen, Patrick Bellew of Atelier 10 and architects Pierre d'Avoine, Sarah Wigglesworth, Andrej Hrausky, Chris Moller and Ken Yeang.

Here we show the winning entries for the three UK sites.


The brief called for the revitalisation of three disused tower blocks which form part of a 1970s housing estate.

Entrants were asked to provide a choice of housing for a mix of social and private tenants.The three prize-winning Manchester projects are currently being exhibited at the CUBE Gallery in Manchester until 4 September.

FIRST PRIZE AMIN TAHA AND RICHARD MARKLAND The existing towers and new housing are arranged along a series of canals, which cover car parking space and contain water for recycling.The jury admired the way in which the project considers the wider area - a bus/metro interchange has been introduced to link the area with the wider neighbourhood. It was also impressed by the way in which the planning offers flexibility in terms of pedestrian routes, linkages between buildings and areas to congregate.

RUNNER-UP CHRIS BRADLEY, PAUL JONES, GRUFFUDD EVANS, TONY SMITH, CERI MORGAN, STEVE KENDALL This scheme retains the existing towers and introduces new terraced housing.

The project emphasises self-sufficiency, providing a semi-open market hall for the sale of products made in local live/work units or grown in neighbourhood allotments.

RUNNER-UP PAUL MILLER, JAMIE DEAN, TOBIAS GOEVERT Each of the existing tower blocks is given six additional storeys and 'anchored'with an adjacent four-storey block.

The residential blocks provide communal roof gardens and flexible living space.


A 4.5ha site close to major traffic routes and the Underground.

Entrants were asked to look at ways of providing for commercial activity while addressing the cultural and residential needs of a mixed community.

FIRST PRIZE PHILIPPE HAAG, MICHEL KIRSCH AND GEORGES ZIGRAND The new public buildings are arranged around a paved square near the waterfront. A modular system allows for phased development and erodes the distinction between private and council housing. The community is served by rainwater collected in a reservoir on top of an ecotower. The scheme proposes improved transport facilities including a tram network and cycle routes. The jury admired the relationship to the water, as well as the way in which the scheme addresses and changes the orientation of the site, creating new sightlines and access routes.


A brownfield site close to Alsop's Peckham Library. The brief asked for a housing, retail and leisure scheme emphasising the environmental quality of public and private spaces. Entrants were asked to consider the possibility of a new tram terminus.

FIRST PRIZE STEPHEN WITHERFORD, CHRISTOPHER WATSON AND WILLIAM MANN This proposal suggests that 10 per cent of the accommodation should be occupied by key workers and envisages that shift working will ensure that the area is vibrant and secure throughout the day. Rooftops are used as urban allotments and to generate solar energy. The project takes advantage of views of the city, and allows maximum daylight into the living spaces and the multi-purpose sports hall which forms the heart of the development.The judges admired the presentation and felt that the project conveyed a real understanding of what it would be like to live in this community.

RUNNER-UP CHARLES BARCLAY AND CATHERINE BROWNELL Lightweight prefabricated construction is used to create a 'light architecture'while the reuse of existing buildings provides historic continuity. The scheme provides a new public square and opens up a new vista of Peckham Library.

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