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Emerging practice wins LFA Silvertown Flyover contest

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YOU&ME Architecture has been named winner of the London Festival of Architecture’s (LFA) contest to transform a disused space beneath the Silvertown Flyover into a creative workspace

The emerging studio – founded by Iris Papadatou and Alicja Borkowska – was chosen ahead of five finalists including Architecture For London, Paris-based B+C Architectes, John McAslan + Partners with Pedder & Scampton Architects, Langstaff Day with Meanwhile Space, and Surman Weston.

YOU&ME’s winning ‘Greenline Flyover Testbed’ scheme – developed in collaboration with 3Space, Greenlab and Mott Macdonald – incorporates studio space for artists and other creative start-ups with communal leisure facilities and a ‘green lung’ biomediation testbed that uses green technology to reduce water and air pollution from the flyover.

Papadatou said: ‘We are thrilled to have won this competition and be part of such an exciting regeneration project at Silvertown. We are interested in the past, present and future life of the Royal Docks, having researched the area in our teaching unit at Central Saint Martins.

‘We see this project as a test bed for how creative workspaces can add social and commercial value and animate public space, with ecology and growing at its core.’

LFA director Tamsie Thomson said: ‘Many congratulations to YOU&ME Architecture for their winning proposals for the Silvertown Flyover ideas competition. We wanted to showcase architects’ ability to look at London in new and different ways, and YOU&ME Architecture have offered a brilliant vision for a key Royal Docks location.

‘We hope as many people as possible will come to see the winning and shortlisted designs at the Siemens Crystal, and join the LFA in a conversation about how to make the Royal Docks and London a better place.’

Aimed at emerging architects, the contest sought ‘viable and deliverable’ proposals to convert a series of unused spaces beneath a busy raised road next to WilkinsonEyre’s £30 million Siemens Crystal in Newham.

The project, backed by the Greater London Authority and the London Borough of Newham, aims to boost opportunities for creative businesses in the Royal Docks area of the East End where 4,000 new homes and 650,000m² of fresh commercial space are planned.

The Royal Docks and surrounding area were constructed in the 1850s, and abandoned just over a century later. They have long been tipped as London’s next major regeneration opportunity. In 2012 the 170ha of land and 96ha of water was transformed into an enterprise zone, promoting a range of schemes including plans for a floating residential village.

Local landmarks include WilkinsonEyre’s new base for Siemens, dubbed ‘The Crystal’; the Excel exhibition centre, which was expanded by Grimshaw in 2010; and the competition-winning Royal Victoria Dock Bridge by Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands.

Planned developments in the area include a £1 billion Asian Business Port masterplanned and designed by Terry Farrell with second-stage concepts by BuckleyGreyYeoman, Fletcher Priest, Cartwright Pickard, MaccreanorLavington and Panter Hudspith. Fletcher Priest Architects’ £3.5 billion regeneration scheme of Silvertown Quays also won planning in 2015.

The latest commission seeks to forge new connections between emerging spaces for creative businesses in the area, such as the Carlsberg Tetley building and Waterfront Studios.

As well as Thomson, the competition judges included Chris Dyson of Chris Dyson Architects and Arts Council England London area director Joyce Wilson.

The winning team will work with the project backers to take the scheme forward. The winning and shortlisted designs will feature in a public exhibition inside the Siemens Crystal until 30 June.

Shortlist

  • Architecture For London
  • B+C Architectes
  • John McAslan + Partners with Pedder & Scampton Architects
  • Langstaff Day with Meanwhile Space
  • Surman Weston
  • you&me architecture
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