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RAW wins Architectural Pride float design contest

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Raw Architecture Workshop (RAW) has won the London Festival of Architecture (LFA) contest to design the float representing architecture and LGBT+ architects at the Pride parades in London and Manchester

RAW’s ’Under One Roof’ design was named the winner at an event in Borough Market last night, organised by the LFA and the Architecture LGBT+ campaign group.

The award was announced by the broadcaster and presenter Evan Davis and Tamsie Thomson, director of the London Festival of Architecture, who were both on the competition jury.

The float, supported by Architecture LGBT+ sponsors and Sir Robert McAlpine, will be constructed over the next three weeks. The build will be managed by McAlpine, which is also providing the flatbed truck to carry it. It will take part in the Pride parades in London on 6 July and in Manchester on 24 August.

Borough market 130

Borough market 130

Source: Voyteck Photography

Winner: Team Raw Architecture Workshop (RAW): Graeme Laughlan (centre left), David Mulligan (centre right) with judges Tamsie Thompson (far left) and Evan Davis

RAW’s entry was selected from more than 30 contesting designs, including strong entries by BDP with Conisbee, Foster + Partners and Grimshaw – all three of which were awarded special commendations.

’Under One Roof’ features an inverted mirrored roof, supported on a scaffolding and timber frame, which is intended to reflect the crowds lining the route, immersing those on board the float in the parade around them. 

Graeme Laughlan, who founded RAW in 2010, said: ‘We are delighted to win, especially given we are a small studio, as small studios getting the chance to do high-profile public projects is a rare thing.’

Commenting on the design he said: ‘We wanted a strong and simple strapline that both reflects architecture and is about people. Our thing is that people, plus building, equals architecture. Using the mirrors we wanted the roof to extend its physical boundaries beyond that of the float, so when you look at the mirror, it’s inclusive. You see the whole crowd around, who, while not physically under the roof, are visible under it.’

His RAW colleague David Mulligan added: ‘We wanted to design something easy to build that we could execute really well in the timescale.’

12 pride competition raw architecture image 2

12 pride competition raw architecture image 2

Source: RAW

Winner: Raw Architecture Workshop (RAW), ‘Under One Roof’

The judging panel, which included the AJ’s Rob Wilson, were won over by the simple and clear architectural concept that responded well to the float’s brief to celebrate the diversity of the architecture sector.

 ’It was impressive how it was one of the simplest yet strongest designs: communicating architecture and inclusivity effectively and economically through its structure and materials’, said Wilson. 

LFA director Tamsie Thomson, who was also on the jury, said: ’Under One Roof is a brilliant winner of our Architectural Pride float competition, and I’m looking forward to getting on board at London Pride on 6 July as we celebrate the talent and diversity of the architecture profession. Our wonderful profession is enriched by LGBT+ architects, and it’s a brilliant platform to celebrate with them.

’[The float] will help us demonstrate our determination to tackle the discrimination which sadly still persists and creates unjust and unnecessary boundaries for many LGBT+ architects.’

Borough market 49

Borough market 49

Source: Voyteck Photography

Another jury member, Tom Guy, director at Guy Piper Architects and founder of Architecture LGBT+, added: ’Architecture LGBT+ exists to provide a safe, inclusive and prejudice-free environment for LGBT+ architects and those working and studying within the profession. We can only do that with the support of the architecture profession, and it was amazing to see such a large response to our competition call for entries.

’Under One Roof is a fantastic design that will celebrate the role of LGBT+ architects, and I’m looking forward to seeing it come to life at the Pride parades in London and Manchester this summer.’

Steven Belton, regional administration manager, London at Sir Robert McAlpine, who was also on the jury, said: ’We were thrilled to see so many entries of such high quality for this year’s Pride float design competition.

’Under One Roof is a worthy winner, as the design really resonates with Sir Robert McAlpine’s mission to celebrate diversity, promote inclusion in the built environment sector and inspire industry wide change. We look forward to building this float with RAW and join the fun at London and Manchester Pride.’

Borough market 39

Borough market 39

Source: Voyteck Photography

The full judging panel consisted of Anne Cosentino, equality, diversity and inclusion manager at the RIBA; Evan Davis, the broadcaster and presenter; Tom Guy, founder, Architecture LGBT+; Sarah Habershon, architect and member of last year’s winning team from Hawkins\Brown; Tamsie Thomson, director, London Festival of Architecture; Rob Wilson, architecture editor at The Architects’ Journal and Steven Belton, regional administration manager, London at Sir Robert McAlpine. 

The competition was open to architecture students, recent graduates and emerging practices as well as staff in more established firms.

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