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Jury named for AJ/Crown Estate Future Retail Destinations contest

A panel of judges including Sam Jacob and Gensler’s Lara Marrero has been named for the new competition, which closes on 9 April

Jacob of Sam Jacob Studio and Gensler retail expert Marrero are joined by Sheppard Robson partner Claire Haywood and editor of fashion bible Drapers, Keely Stocker.

The jury, chaired by the AJ’s Will Hurst, also includes the director of The Crown Estate’s Regional Retail portfolio Hannah Milne.

The competition seeks to re-imagine out-of-town shopping destinations for 2030 and beyond and UK-based architects have until April 9 to put forward concept designs in the form of an A3 board.

Milne said: ‘We’re challenging ourselves to think hard about how the best retail destinations can adapt to meet shoppers’ changing expectations, on everything from the growing role of technology in retail, to sustainability, community and shopper experience.

‘This is a fantastic opportunity, working with the best talent, to explore what brilliant retail destinations might look like in 2030 and beyond, as we shape our portfolio for the future.’

The Crown Estate – which previously partnered with the AJ on the Future Office contest in 2016 – boasts a regional retail and leisure portfolio across the UK valued at £2.5 billion, which includes Rushden Lakes in Northamptonshire, Fosse in Leicester and Princesshay in Exeter.

The design solution will be based upon many of the same parameters as existing parks, including a prominent out-of-town location served by major roads and offering a mix of retail, leisure and food and beverage uses.

It should also consider the important role of quality public realm, the increasing impact of tech in retail, the environmental sustainability of the scheme and the experience created for shoppers.

Like Future Office, the Future Retail Destinations contest boasts a second stage. Following the submission of concept designs, the best 10-12 entries will be shortlisted and will present their ideas to the jury. The jury will then whittle these down to six winners to take part in this later, more practical stage.

This will take the form of a site visit to one of The Crown Estate’s shopping locations, followed by a one-day charrette focusing on the future of that asset.

Each of the six architects, practices or teams taking part in the charrette will receive a £1,000 honorarium for their time and both winners and shortlisted entries will be publicised by the AJ and The Crown Estate.

About the competition

Aj tce future retail index2

  • Free to enter
  • Submission deadline 9 April
  • Shortlisted teams present to judges 8 May
  • Site visit 16 May
  • Charrette 21 June

For more details and to enter, click here



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