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Tonkin Liu among winners of council placemaking contests

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Tonkin Liu is one of the winners of an RIBA-backed competition series aimed at finding designers for placemaking initiatives at five local authorities across England

The 2018 Stephen Lawrence Prize-winning practice will now work alongside Great Yarmouth Borough Council on plans for the resort’s seafront and public realm following the recent RIBA Future Place programme open call.

Not-for-profit social enterprise consultancy Integreat Plus will partner with Bradford on its city centre plans, with GT3 Architects landing the Gateshead Council commission and Hilton Barnfield Architects with David Hawes winning the role in the Greater Exeter region.

A collaboration between Fereday Pollard with landscape architect Annie Lennox, David Cunningham and former Architecture Centre Network chief executive Bridget Sawyers will work with North Northamptonshire.

Only open to RIBA Chartered Practices, the Future Place programme is supported by the Chartered Institute of Housing, the Local Government Association and the Royal Town Planning Institute and will also include expertise from Homes England. Each team will receive £10,000 to develop priority projects.

RIBA president Ben Derbyshire said: ‘[This programme] is all about supporting the five local planning authorities as they develop their ambitious future visions to enhance people’s lives, improve community wellbeing and create sustainable environments. Now each has a talented architectural practice to work alongside, I believe we will clearly demonstrate the role the profession has to play. I very much look forward to seeing ideas unfold.’

Jury member Sadie Morgan, a founding director of Stirling Prize-winning dRMM and a National Infrastructure Commissioner, added: ‘The quality of submissions coupled with the ambition of local authorities to do things differently shows that initiatives such as this can positively impact the way we deliver future places.

‘My congratulations go to all those involved, from the competitors, clients, government agencies, and professional bodies – through their collaboration they have shown real leadership in improving the placemaking of the nation.’

Training and specialist advice will be offered to the councils involved, which were chosen for their willingness to work with different bodies to deliver meaningful change. They will also be given access to Homes England frameworks.

Winners in Full

The City of Bradford District Council has a strong vision to transform the city centre by creating new homes and economic opportunities. Integreat Plus will be identifying innovative ways to engage with the young, diverse communities of the future.

  • GT3 Architects with Gateshead – health and wellbeing-led placemaking

Gateshead Council is committed to creating a lively and connected town centre which promotes a better quality of life. GT3 Architects will be identifying opportunities to improve health, wellbeing, social interaction for future residents of the town.

  • Tonkin Liu with Great Yarmouth – heritage and innovation-led placemaking and growth

Great Yarmouth Borough Council is currently driving forward an ambitious town centre masterplan and major regeneration projects along the seafront to enhance the experience for tourists and the local community. Tonkin Liu will carry out an analysis of the seafront and propose improvements to the public realm.

By 2040 Greater Exeter wants to be recognised as a global leader in sustainable living and one of the most active, healthy and accessible cities in England. Hilton Barnfield Architects with David Hawes will develop design principles for higher-density car-free neighbourhoods.

  • Fereday Pollard with Annie Lennox, David Cunningham and Bridget Sawyers with North Northamptonshire– landscape and green infrastructure-led placemaking

The five partner local authorities that make up North Northamptonshire plan to advance an ambitious growth agenda to build 40,000 homes over 20 years and create a new garden village. The team will develop principles for the design and management of a key radial route connecting new garden communities with the town centre.


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