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In pictures: Studio AR scoops Forgotten Spaces top prize

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Alex Scott-Whitby of Studio AR has landed top place in the Forgotten Spaces contest for his proposal to convert City of London belfries into artist studios

Announced at the opening of a Somerset House exhibition of shortlisted entries to the RIBA London-organised competition, the first place winner received £5,000 to develop the idea further.

Scott-Whitby’s (IN)Spires project (pictured, below) proposed turning disused church spires across London into studios for artists and creative professionals.

(IN)Spires by Alex Scott-Whitby

(IN)Spires by Alex Scott-Whitby

The judges described his scheme as a ‘realistic yet imaginative solution’ for a series of ‘true forgotten spaces’.

He said: ‘I am amazed and overawed to have won and the money will hopefully be a boost to making the project happen.’

Steve McCoy took the second prize worth £2,000 for his Urban Climbing Tunnel proposal which transformed a disused air raid shelter below Clapham High Street into an urban climbing tunnel for school children and thrill seekers (pictured below).

Henry Williams and Stanton Williams Architects was meanwhile awarded the £1,000 third prize for a scheme which proposed the Highgate’s neglected overground station into a flexible public space.

Commendations went to The Co-Op Pub by Megan Barrett and Lizzie Cowan; Brunel’s Café by Aurelie Pot; Liftplatz by Colin Rose and Katharine Hibbert; and The Firepits, Crystal Palace by Pascal Bronner, Marvin Chik, Seth Rutt and Peter van der Zwan of Hawkins\Brown and Studio 3.

The competition – which challenged architects to propose imaginative reuses of abandoned spaces in the capital – was judged by Qatari Diar development director Jeremy Titchen, AJ editorial director Paul Finch; Shape Arts chief executive Tony Heaton; Ordnance Survey head of commercial markets Neil Taylor, Julia Barfield of Marks Barfield Architects; Mark Brearley of Design for London and RIBA London director Tamsie Thomson.

Thomson said: ‘The schemes showcased in the exhibition show the breadth of creative talent and innovative thinking generated in London, while also highlighting areas in the capital that could benefit from local input and investment’.

Titchen said: ‘As judges, we were excited and impressed by the wide range of projects submitted by extremely talented people wanting to play a role in shaping, enhancing and maintaining their neighbourhoods and communities.’

Brearley added: ‘The range of ideas here proves that the capital’s sheer creative energy is as alive and able to meet the challenge of invigorating our spaces in a thoughtful and dynamic way.’

The exhibition is held in the South Wing of Somerset House until 29 January.



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