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RIBA opens design contest for Cumbrian nuclear power station

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The RIBA has launched an open design competition for architectural elements on Cumbria’s £10 billion Moorside nuclear power station

The unprecedented contest – described as a world first for the nuclear industry – aims to create a ‘positive lasting legacy’ for the 3.6GW triple-reactor plant.

The surprise announcement comes a decade after former RIBA president Jack Pringle condemned government plans for a new wave of nuclear power stations on cost and safety grounds (see AJ 04.05.06).

Backed by plant operator NuGen, the RIBA contest seeks ideas for the 200 hectare site’s visitor centre, accommodation block and masterplan.

A separate competition – organised by the Landscape Institute (LI) – has also been launched to find ‘creative and sustainable’ proposals for the controversial facility’s surroundings.

NuGen chief executive Tom Samson, commented: ‘NuGen wants to deliver the very best possible project for the people of Cumbria and are working with RIBA and LI to access their extensive network and ensure that we attract the very best design professionals to provide an iconic design and a positive legacy for years to come.’

Jamie Reed, Labour MP for Copeland, added: ‘Moorside will be transformational for Copeland. I am confident our best days are ahead of us… and this initiative will help deliver an iconic building, landscape and a lasting legacy that the region can be proud of.’

Located next to the Sellafield nuclear fuel reprocessing site, the coastal facility will produce almost seven per cent of the UK’s total electricity needs when it fully comes online in 2024.

Around 4,000 new homes, a railway station, health centre and other amenities are also expected to be separately delivered nearby to cater for the plant’s workforce.

The two competitions each have a £20,000 prize fund and the winning architect and landscape architect will each receive £5,000 and a design contract.

Judges include Samson, Terry Farrell, Simon Hudspith of Panter Hudspith Architects and former Lake District National Park Authority chief executive Paul Tiplady.

The deadline for submissions is 2pm on 1 March.

How to apply

Visit the RIBA competition website for more information

Visit the LI competition website for more information


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