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Shoreditch public realm and retail competition shortlist revealed

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Five teams have been shortlisted in a contest for innovative ideas to revolutionise public realm and retail along Redchurch Street in Shoreditch, east London

The finalists include emerging London practitioners Anna Janiak StudioSpacehub and Tomos Design + Studio Yu. A bid by Lithuanian sole practitioner Žilvinas Stasiuleviius and a collaboration between artist Martin RichmanEPR Architects and Waymap complete the shortlist.

The competition, organised by design agency Khaa on behalf of a local landlady, sought bold ideas that rethink the relationship between retail technology and the public realm, and which can revitalise the historic shopping street close to Shoreditch High Street station.

It aims to future-proof the road, which has seen big changes in recent decades and is now a hub for boutique fashion stores. Plans were lodged in July for 500 homes and 130,000m² of workspace at nearby Bishopsgate Goodsyard.

Redchurch Street connects Shoreditch High Street to Brick Lane, and features a mix of stores, small businesses, pubs and nightclubs. During the 1990s it was home to The Shop – an acclaimed pop-up gallery by artists Tracey Emin and Sarah Lucas.

Despite its close proximity to London’s busy financial core, the road suffers from vandalism, graffiti, burglaries and antisocial behaviour. The ideas contest seeks ideas to enhance the success of Redchurch Street while also improving its resilience.

In 2017, vPPR and design agency Twelve Studio won an ideas contest seeking innovative, technology-led solutions to upgrade pedestrian movement and wayfinding through Croydon’s post-war streetscape.

The five teams will each receive £1,000 to participate in the second phase of the competition this month. The overall winner will be announced in December and be invited to work with local stakeholders as ‘curator’ of Redchurch Street.

Judges include architect and Bartlett honorary emeritus professor Peter Cook, community engagement specialist Daisy Froud, and Shoreditch Design Triangle co-ordinator Freya Coakely.

Cook said: ‘The entries all had a good level of graphic communication and the expected combination of clever tricks. Following a lively but tolerant discussion, the panel were eventually able to identify five projects that offered very different goals, ranging from the strategic to the decorative.

‘Now comes the really interesting stage in which we will interview the authors of all five to find the winner – a project that really will set Redchurch Street alight.’

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