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Architects sought as Stoke ramps up City of Culture bid

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Stoke-on-Trent City Council has announced an architectural contest for two major buildings in support of a bid to become the UK’s City of Culture 2021

The authority said it plans to launch an RIBA-backed competition for practices to overhaul both the 1981 Potteries Museum and Art Gallery by architects Wood, Goldstraw and Yorath, and the City Central Library, designed by city architect JW Plant which opened in 1970.

The proposal would also involve the creation of a new public square to link Bethesda Street venues.

Terry Follows, council cabinet member for greener city, development and leisure, said: ‘We will be inviting architects from all over the world to compete for the right to carry out this work.

‘This will give us the best creative solutions and imaginative ideas out there and eventually a scheme which could transform a key cultural part of our city.’

A design team led by Rider Levitt Bucknall and Glenn Howells Architects has been appointed by the city council to develop a brief for the design competition through engagement with city stakeholders and the RIBA.

Initial ideas include the creation of a central atrium at the museum and creating a rooftop terrace on the library.

RIBA president-elect Ben Derbyshire said: ‘It is very important that the RIBA works for local authority clients to promote very high standards in the procurement of architectural design competitions, exemplifying the role architects play to improve the design and sustainability of the built environment.’

Expressions of interest in the scheme are now being sought from architects at www.pmagccl.co.uk ahead of the design competition, which is expected to start in the spring.

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