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McAslan wins Rudolph Riverview rescue contest

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John McAslan has won the competition to save Paul Rudolph's Riverview High School in Sarasota, Florida – a contest he helped to set up.

McAslan saw off giants RMJM Hillier, Sarasota-based ADP, The Folsom Group, and a fourth team from Tampa to land the project to rescue and re-work the iconic 1958 school.

Working alongside Arup, CBRE and architect Mack Scogin Merrill Elam of Atlanta, McAslan’s victorious team came up with ‘an unequivocally viable alternative’ to the school board's original proposals to demolish and replace the building with a car park.

A delighted McAslan said: ‘The fate of Riverview High has been in the balance for the last decade.

‘[Our] aim was to find a way to save the school, which was an early exemplar of low-energy design, prefabricated steel construction, and socially inclusive design.

'[We] developed a scheme featuring a programmatic shift that will re-allocate space from the new building [on site] into Rudolph’s building, preserving community space.

‘We argued that this could be done at no extra cost or risk – compared with the school board’s previous scheme.'

He added: ‘We’re simply following Rudolph’s original lead. It’s not often that any architect gets a chance to not only save an architectural gem, but to add to it.’

The AJ has also learned that architectural historian Kenneth Frampton will act as a ‘general adviser’ during further design development.

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