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Wigglesworth and Ash Sakula shortlisted in Soar Island contest

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Sarah Wigglesworth Architects and Ash Sakula Architects feature among the five finalists named in the RIBA-run ideas competition to regenerate Soar Island in Leicester

London-based drummond.lawlor, Gutiérrez-De la Fuente Arquitectos from Spain and Germany’s Kraft.Raum complete the shortlist.

The announcement comes around four years after Ash Sakula won an Adaptable Futures-backed ideas contest to regenerate Leicester Waterside nearby.

The full shortlist

  • Ash Sakula Architects, London
  • drummond.lawlor, London
  • Gutiérrez-Delafuente Arquitectos, Spain
  • Kraft.Raum, Germany
  • Sarah Wigglesworth Architects, London

Backed by Leicester City Council, the contest sought proposals to revitalise the islet in the middle of the River Soar which currently features a viewing platform and cement works.

The latest finalists will receive £5,000 each to develop their proposals further during the contest’s second stage. The winner – set to be announced this summer – will receive a further £5,000.

More than eighty submissions were received from around the world. Judges included city mayor Peter Soulsby and Glenn Howells of Bimignham-based Glenn Howells Architects.

Howells said:  ‘The range and type of proposals we saw was impressive. The competition entries showed how a wide variety of activities and environments could potentially be created on the Island.

‘This prompted much discussion amongst the judges as to what form of development would best deliver the maximum benefit for this exciting, emerging quarter of Leicester.’

He continued: ‘After much deliberation the panel shortlisted five schemes which demonstrate a range of solutions.  This should enable the next stage of the competition to showcase not only what is the best design but also the strongest concept that could be achieved.’

Andrew Smith, director of regeneration at Leicester City Council, added: ‘Soar Island is a unique part of the city and has the potential to be an interesting focal point in the Waterside development area.

‘We’ve been really pleased with the level of interest shown in the competition and the range ofvisionary ideas submitted which we are using to help us shape our thinking on how to make the most of this potential development site.’

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