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Manchester practice wins Carlisle Citadels contest

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DAY Architectural has won a competition to design a major £100 million mixed-use regeneration scheme in the historic centre of Carlisle, including a 13,800m² campus for the University of Cumbria 

The project will transform a 1.65ha site within the city’s Citadels complex, which features two Grade I-listed former courthouses, the former offices of the county council and other neighbouring properties. It will also deliver new commercial, residential, and cultural and leisure facilities. The site is next to the Grade II*-listed Carlisle train station

The Manchester-based practice topped rival bids by BDP, Buttress Architects, FaulknerBrowns Architects and Hawkins\Brown to win the commission backed by Cumbria County Council. The contract value was originally estimated at £500,000, though the winning fee bid was £424,720 according to the OJEU award notice.

Carlisle image by library of congress

Carlisle image by library of congress

Carlisle is the largest settlement in Cumbria with more than 100,000 inhabitants. The Carlisle Citadels are situated at the southern end of the historic centre and were originally constructed in 1541 by Henry VIII. The landmark towers were later converted by Thomas Telford and Robert Smirke into a pair of courts but are no longer used.

The historic complex is no longer used for civic purposes but the buildings were recently restored and are now open to the public. A Grade II-listed former wall which was once part of Carlisle Gaol is also included within the project site.

DAY Architectural will create a masterplan for the site and an outline business case for its regeneration. It will then either develop plans to RIBA Stage 3 and submit for planning, draw up employer’s requirements for a design-and-build appointment at RIBA Stage 2, or alternatively produce design requirements for a development agreement with a third party.

In 2018, Carmody Groarke was appointed to draw up a masterplan for a major revamp of Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery nearby.

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