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Five shortlisted for problematic Twickenham Riverside site

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The RIBA has named the five finalists in an international competition to decide the future of Twickenham Riverside in south-west London

Allies and Morrison, Baynes and Mitchell Architects, Cullinan Studio, Haworth Tompkins and Hopkins Architects have all be selected to proceed to the second stage of the contest which opened in March and received 54 entries.

The competition, managed by the RIBA on behalf of the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames, is to select a multidisciplinary team to rethink a large riverside site stretching between Water and Wharf Lanes, and including the Embankment.

It follows the withdrawal of a planning application by Francis Terry and Associates and Carey Jones Chapman Tolcher for the prominent waterfront area (pictured), which formerly contained a swimming pool and has been the subject of decades-long debate surrounding its redevelopment.

Francis Terry won a council-run contest for the development three years ago, beating Kemp Muir Wealleans, Atkins and John Simpson Architects, but the scheme was scrapped after the Liberal Democrats took control of the local authority in May last year.

The winner of the latest contest will deliver a contextual mixed-use scheme featuring at least 50 per cent affordable housing along with a major new public space or town square. Flexible workspaces, community uses and cultural facilities may also be included.

RIBA adviser Sarah Williams of S Williams Architects said: ‘The council received some exemplary submissions at this first stage of the competition and has selected five excellent firms to participate in Phase 2.

‘This is an exciting opportunity for teams to create something vibrant and beautiful along the River Thames for the benefit of the community. The panel are very much looking forward to receiving proposals from this strong shortlist’

Richmond Council leader Gareth Roberts said: ‘I am thrilled that so many companies have shown an interest in the Twickenham site. I am confident that the five shortlisted companies will offer a good mix of styles and ideas. Each architect team comes with an impressive CV and I look forward to seeing their varied proposals.

‘For nearly 40 years this beautiful stretch of the River Thames has been awaiting a design that can showcase the riverside as a destination for people to live, play, work, enjoy and thrive. The interest in the competition from such a wide number of companies proves that there was an appetite from the industry to help create an exciting and energising development and there is a clear opportunity for a firm to leave their mark.’

The five finalists will each receive £6,500 to develop conceptual plans for the site. Local residents will be invited to comment on the designs in September prior to the announcement of a winner.

Shortlist in full

  • Allies and Morrison
  • Baynes and Mitchell Architects
  • Cullinan Studio
  • Haworth Tompkins 
  • Hopkins Architects
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