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Twickenham Riverside contest designs revealed

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Richmond Council has revealed the visions by the five finalists in the contest to design a scheme at Twickenham Riverside in south-west London – replacing an axed design by Francis Terry 

Published anonymously, the concept schemes have been drawn up by Allies and Morrison, Baynes and Mitchell Architects with Outpost, Cullinan Studio, Haworth Tompkins and Hopkins Architects. The shortlist was announced in June, selected from 54 entries. 

The competition, run by the RIBA on behalf of the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames, aims to select a multidisciplinary team to rethink the waterside site stretching between Water and Wharf Lanes, and including the Embankment. The designs went on public display earlier this month.

It follows the withdrawal of a planning application for the waterfront area by Classical architect Francis Terry and Associates in collaboration with Carey Jones Chapman Tolcher. The site, which formerly contained a swimming pool, has been the subject of decades-long debate surrounding its redevelopment.

Terry won a council-run contest for the development in 2015, beating Kemp Muir Wealleans, Atkins and John Simpson Architects. Although the plans (pictured bottom) were twice revised, they were eventually scrapped after the Liberal Democrats took control of the council in May last year.

The winner of the latest contest will deliver a contextual mixed-use scheme featuring at least 50 per cent affordable housing along with a major new public space or town square. 

Richmond Council leader Gareth Roberts said: ‘Twickenham Riverside should be the flourishing centre of Twickenham and the local area, but instead it’s being used as a car park with parking prioritised over people. For nearly 40 years this beautiful stretch of the River Thames has been awaiting a design that can showcase the riverside as a destination for people to live, play, work, enjoy and thrive. We have heard from you loud and clear that you want better for Twickenham.’

He added: ‘One of the things we heard in previous consultations was the desire for a more transparent procurement process and, working with RIBA Competitions, we are following the official OJEU rules. This means a strict process on decision-making, with the winner of the competition being selected based on their score against the evaluation criteria. While this isn’t a formal consultation on the proposals, public feedback will help give myself and the other members of the design panel, clarity on the view of the community.’

The five finalists each received £6,500 to develop conceptual plans for the site. A winner is expected to be announced in December.

Shortlist in full

  • Allies and Morrison
  • Baynes and Mitchell Architects with Outpost
  • Cullinan Studio
  • Haworth Tompkins 
  • Hopkins Architects

francis terry 2016 twickenham riverside scheme

Francis Terry’s competition-winning proposals for Twickenham Riverside as revealed in 2015

Francis Terry’s competition-winning proposals for Twickenham Riverside as revealed in 2015

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Readers' comments (3)

  • It's difficult to judge six schemes for the same site with only perspectives to go on, and with no background on the differences in briefs between the schemes. But, on the evidence presented, Francis Terry's scheme wipes the floor with the current five proposals, none of which demonstrate anything like Terry's understanding of how to address the river, use appropriate scale when viewed from the river or its banks, create coherent form, proportion, massing and above all a real sense of place-making.
    The current five range from feeble but inoffensive to downright horrendous.
    I,m not suggesting that Terry has the only answer - in the last couple of decades there has been a growing awareness among some modern architects of the lessons of history (eg Ancient Greece and Rome, Italian hill towns), in particular relating to place-making and the civic realm.
    The current five schemes completely fail to address the huge potential of this exceptional site. None of them are anywhere near good enough, and the promoters need to start again

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  • Very pretty, but what about the layouts?!

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  • Can we see the plans ?

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