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'Shipwreck design' wins lifeboat station prize

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A student from Portsmouth University has clinched the top prize in a RIBA ideas competition to design a new national lifeboat station for Tenby near Pembroke in Wales-with a design which takes its inspiration from a ship's hull on its side.

Stuart Pike, who is currently working at Favonius Architects in Salisbury (alongside the ARB-exonerated Sean O'Mahony, see page 11), won the £1,000 first prize in the competition with an attempt which was commended by judges for its 'clarity'. Pike said he chose the hulllike form of the the building of glass and sacrificial steel ('so it rusts') to help as protection from the elements. It is sheltered on three sidesespecially from prevailing south-west windswhile the glazing faces the town and invites people to visit the structure.

Part of the brief, explained Pike, was that the Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) was looking for new ways of getting the public to give funds- so making it highly visible was a practical solution. The rest of the building came from extruding the slipway upwards.

The judges were also impressed with the way the submission responded to its dramatic Carmarthen Bay setting and the task it had to perform, as well as the 'beautiful and comprehensive way it was illustrated'.

The scheme will not be built, but the RNLI is intending to build a new station, which is in the process of being designed, on the conservation area and National Park site. Pike said part of his prize will involve a visit to the RNLI's headquarters in Poole, Dorset.

The competition was run by the Worshipful Company of Chartered Architects in association with the RNLI and a prize-giving ceremony was held at the RIBA last week, before an exhibition of all the main entries came down from Gallery 2.

Christopher Selley of De Montfort University, Leicester, clinched the £750 second prize for his design of 'considerable simplicity and charm', and two joint-third prizes of £250 were awarded to Sean Daly from the Canterbury School of Architecture and Shui Fong Lau of the University of Westminster. De Montfort University's David Cross received a commendation for the quality and 'drama'of his three-dimensional drawings.

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