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Studioshaw wins ideas contest for Dundee youth facility

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Up-and-coming practice Studioshaw has won the Dundee Institute of Architects’ (DIA) ideas competition for a new facility for children and young people in Seabraes Yards

The contest sought proposals for a new public space or building within the city’s AIM-masterplanned Seabraes Yards regeneration zone.

The victorious Interactive Hub scheme by Studioshaw – a London-based practice set up last year by former Duggan Morris associate Mark Shaw – features a modular tower, which can host events like drone racing or theatre.

Runners-up included Michael Findlater of Dundee-based Notio Studio and Ryan McLeod of Slurpp’s joint proposal for an all-terrain golf challenge called Wiffle Golf; and Ian White Associates’ Warp Weft Park, an outdoor activity park including zip wires and pump track.

Studioshaw director Mark Shaw said: ‘We’re really delighted to have won the ideas competition for this key site, part of a billion pound transformation of the waterfront area of Dundee.

’We thought long and hard about how to capitalise on the cities thriving creative industries and also create a fun and dynamic space to host activities.’

DIA president Christine Palmer said: ‘We were amazed by the quantity, quality and variety of responses to the competition brief and commend all those who took the time to enter. Judging provoked some enjoyable discussions but the decision was unanimous that Studioshaw’s scheme was an excellent proposal for this key site.’

DIA festival events co-ordinator Ged Young added: ‘The judging panel were impressed by the level of consideration given towards integration with the city’s established creative hubs.

‘Studioshaw’s proposal also recognised the way the site could be enhanced when related to adjacent proposed and completed architecture by continuing a plug-and-play approach to development. The architect’s hybrid solution of pod-built pavilion and delicately balanced gathering space was considered strong, industrial and without compromise and was our clear winner.’

The former railway depot, a short distance from Richard Murphy’s Dundee Contemporary Arts Centre and Kengo Kuma’s under-construction V&A Dundee, is being transformed into a new mixed-use development for local creative industries.

Key developments in the area include District 10, an incubator building designed by AIM and constructed from shipping containers. A new footbridge connecting the regeneration area to Dundee’s riverside was also delivered by Nicoll Russell Studios last year.

The Seabraes Yards Sketch Design competition was one of 400 or so events held across Scotland as part of the RIAS’s 2016 Festival of Architecture, a key part of the Scottish Government’s 2016 Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design celebrations.

The competition was open to architects, students and the public. Proposals could be for a new park, sports facility, recreational activity or user group space. Schemes were permitted to be open or closed to the elements and were expected to promote young people’s learning, health and wellbeing.

The winning team will receive a cash prize from a £500 competition fund courtesy of Dundee Institute of Architects and Scottish Enterprise Tayside.

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