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Emerging studios shortlisted in City of London parklets contest

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Seven new practices have been shortlisted in the London Festival of Architecture’s (LFA) contest for a series of small £6,500 landscaped spaces throughout the City of London

Finalists Include London-based Fatkin; PARTI; SoHo+Co working with curator Deborah Smith and landscape designer Rupert Muldoon; Urben with Wood Street Walls; and Patrick McEvoy.

San Francisco’s FS Studio and Manchester-based designer Tim Denton complete the shortlist.

The competition sought ‘safe, durable and low-cost’ concepts for a number of public ‘parklets’ to occupy kerbside parking bays across the Square Mile.

The project, supported by the City of London Corporation, aims to boost public spaces throughout the area, where there are plans to give ‘pedestrian priority’ to half of the streets by 2044. The winning schemes will be constructed in key locations in time for the LFA’s opening on 1 June.

LFA director Tamsie Thomson said: ‘I’m delighted to see such a rich mix of architecture and design talent on our shortlist for the City Parklets project and look forward to seeing how their proposals will help introduce more greenery and life to disused kerbside spaces.

‘As we explore “boundaries” in 2019, I’m excited for the shortlisted teams to interpret that theme, with interventions that create miniature havens amidst the bustle of the City, for hundreds of thousands of people to enjoy during the Festival.’

Chris Hayward, chair of the City of London’s planning and transportation committee, said: ‘It’s fantastic to see the range of ideas brought forward as part of this competition. We want to encourage creative uses of space that can be enjoyed by workers, residents and tourists across the Square Mile. The shortlisted teams showcase how this can be delivered through innovative design.’

The competition was launched a year after the LFA invited proposals for a series of public benches in the City of London. The benches contest was won by a number of emerging London architects and practices including Patrick McEvoy and Nicholas Kirk Architects.

The City of London Parklets project will deliver a series of kerbside public spaces where visitors and local workers can ‘rest, relax and admire the City’.

The shortlisted teams will now receive £250 each to develop design concepts. Proposals must provide some form of public amenity, such as seating or landscaping, and should be low maintenance, free-standing and responsive to the local environment.

Judges include Thomson, City public realm and open space leads Simon Glynn and Patrick Hegarty, Jennifer Dixon of AECOM, and Philippa Stockley from the Evening Standard.

The overall winners, to be notified later this month, will receive £6,500 each to design and deliver their scheme. 

The full shortlist

Shortlisted: Fatkin

Shortlisted: Fatkin


Fatkin is an emerging architectural practice based in West London. Founded in 2014, we offer a dynamic, flexible approach to each project. Working across a range of typologies and scales throughout the UK, we have significant experience delivering aspects of masterplan visions for revitalised public realms, residential and transport nodes.


Shortlisted: FS Studio

Shortlisted: FS Studio

FS Studio

Formed in 2019 in San Francisco, FS Studio is a team with divergent backgrounds that balance each other, leading towards rich stories from which to draw the bones, arch and details of a space. We desire to improve public and private space through sustainably innovative, and vibrant places connecting everyone through the Story of their Space.


Shortlisted: PARTI

Shortlisted: PARTI


PARTI is an emerging architecture and design practice. Formed in 2015 by Eleanor Hill and Tom Leahy, the London-based studio is working on a range of projects locally and internationally. This includes a rural hotel in Australia; a mixed-use scheme in the Californian desert; and residential projects in the UK.


Shortlisted: Patrick McEvoy

Shortlisted: Patrick McEvoy

Patrick McEvoy

Patrick is an architectural designer who undertakes small scale public interventions; his work celebrates the idiosyncrasies that make spaces memorable and engaging.


Shortlisted: SoHo+Co, Rupert Muldoon and Deborah Smith

Shortlisted: SoHo+Co, Rupert Muldoon and Deborah Smith

SoHo+Co, Rupert Muldoon and Deborah Smith

SoHo+Co is a London-based design practice founded by Jasmin Sohi and Tom Holberton, and is collaborating with curator Deborah Smith and landscape designer Rupert Muldoon. We enjoy the tension between the defined and the undefined to create ideas, stories, objects and spaces, where human interaction completes the scene.


Shortlisted: Tim Denton

Shortlisted: Tim Denton

Source: Rob Evans

Tim Denton

Tim Denton is a Manchester-based design and build studio, specialising in the design and production of bespoke furniture, spaces and structures. The practice was founded in 2016 and comprises three core team members. Our practice is passionate about creating objects that engage with people and the surrounding environment.


Shortlisted: Urben & Wood Street Walls

Shortlisted: Urben & Wood Street Walls

Urben and Wood Street Walls

Urben is an urban design and planning studio founded in 2012. We believe that cities should be vibrant places that are open and accessible to everybody. Since 2016 we have collaborated with Wood Street Walls on placemaking projects which aim to help activate & enliven the public realm by combining landscape and public art.

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