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Winners of city of Bath ideas contest revealed

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The winners in a RIBA-run ideas contest for radical concepts for the future of Bath have been revealed

The victorious proposal came from Rob Delius of Stride Treglown for his idea which called for an international design competition to install public fountains in public places throughout the city.

The winning idea, which netted Delius the £3,000 top prize, saw off competition from 92 entries from as far afield as New York, Sweden and Norway.

Around half of all the entries came from local architects and practices, while just under a third of entries came from students at the University of Bath.

Chris Mackenzie, competition judge and director at Designscape Architects said: ‘We were hugely impressed by the breadth and quality of the submissions, and slightly overwhelmed by the number of submissions. It has confirmed our suspicion that there is a great pool of talent out there in the community which is currently largely untapped.  We hope that this competition and exhibition will be just the start and our next task is to find a way in which some of these ideas can be brought forward and eventually be realised.’

The entries were displayed in a pop-up exhibition in the city last weekend (20 – 22 March).  

The winners

First prize: The Waters of Bath - Rob Delius

First prize: The Waters of Bath - Rob Delius

A simple idea to celebrate what Bath is famous for, it’s water, by proposing to ‘re-hydrate’ the city. The idea called for an international design competition to install public fountains in public places throughout the city, in order to bring attention to Bath’s watery connection, and to create a walkable city trail of water-features.

Second prize: ARC - Mark Wray, Isaac Lim, Jamie Holmes ARC

ARC - Mark Wray, Isaac Lim, Jamie Holmes ARC

This proposal featured a design for a brand new city archive and records centre, replacing the current often considered inadequate city archive in the basement of The Guildhall. The building would be a lasting memorial to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Blitz of Bath, part of the Baedecker Raids which destroyed a number of the city’s churches. A light installation would also mark the location of the four churches destroyed in the raids.

Third prize: A New Perspective - Aissa Diallo, James Wright, Helen Zhang

Third prize: A New Perspective - Aissa Diallo, James Wright, Helen Zhang

Third prize: A New Perspective - Aissa Diallo, James Wright, Helen Zhang

Won by a student team from the University of Bath’s Vertical Studio, this scheme proposed a number of follies set into the hillsides surround Bath, each focussing the gaze of the visitor back into city. Each folly would mark a different point in Bath’s history, with a corresponding architectural style. Roman, medieval, Georgian, Victorian and modern era’s would all feature.

Highly commended: Great Pulteney Street Sculpture Park - Jonathan Bassindale

Highly commended: Great Pulteney Street Sculpture Park - Jonathan Bassindale

An idea to pedestrianize Great Pulteney Street, Bath’s widest and grandest street which links Bath’s two main art galleries, The Holburne and Victoria Art Gallery. Once returned to being a public space, the streets could feature public art and sculpture.

Highly commended: We Build Bath Again - Matt Somerville

Highly commended: We Build Bath Again - Matt Somerville

A self-build model to address the need for more housing in Bath. Using a unified façade, behind which individuals, and communities could self-build homes to suit their individual needs, tastes and styles.

Highly commended: Restoring diversity to South Riverside - Peter John Smyth & Doug King

Highly commended: Restoring diversity to South Riverside - Peter John Smyth and Doug King

A non-commercial alternative proposal to the Bath Quays development, featuring a new city quarter with a focus on individuality. Public spaces, live-work units and an embankment promenade that links Green Park to Churchill Bridge also feature.

Highly commended: Boat Stall Quay - Matt Somerville

Highly commended: Boat Stall Quay - Matt Somerville

A scheme to open up Boat Stall Lane, and Slippery Lane (pre-Georgian survivors of the medieval city) to the public, providing access to the colonnades underneath the Grand Parade (and location of the Imagine Bath exhibition) and out through to Parade Gardens, bringing visitors closer to the river Avon.

Highly commended: Bath Greenway – Andrew Nicolson

Highly commended: Bath Greenway – Andrew Nicolson

An incredibly detailed proposal (15 years in the making, we were told at the awards evening) and intricately mapped route for a traffic-free, flat, central cycle path to link the Bristol and Bath Railway Path, the Kennet & Avon Canal and the new Two Tunnels Greenway.

Highly commended: Arch Studios – Tim Scott, Lucy Wildsmith, Harry Postins and Lucy Mullins

Highly commended: Arch Studios – Tim Scott, Lucy Wildsmith, Harry Postins and Lucy Mullins

A Vertical Studios team from the University of Bath, this proposal finds a use for Bath’s many redundant railway arches, turning them into exhibition spaces and artists’ studios, creative spaces to rival those already established in Bristol. These spaces could also entice visitors beyond the threshold of the shopping precinct, railway and bus station.

Highly commended: Beneath Bath – Andrew Young & Klara Kedborn

Highly commended: Beneath Bath – Andrew Young and Klara Kedborn

A tongue-in-cheek proposal for an underground self-propelled bathtub ride exploring Bath’s hidden underground crypts and archaeology, complete with audio guide.

Highly commended: Bath Lido Spa - Michael Lewis

Highly commended: Bath Lido Spa - Michael Lewis

One of two lido proposals to win a highly commended award, Michael’s proposal cleverly made use of the naturally hot thermal water from the Great Drain, of which 880,000 litres of hot water is wasted every hour as it drains straight out into the River Avon.

Highly commended: Royal Victoria Park Cinema & Auditorium - David Huntly-Grant

Highly commended: Royal Victoria Park Cinema and Auditorium - David Huntly-Grant

A striking proposal for a temporary structure to enliven Royal Victoria Park, this versatile building would be used for cultural and entertainment events, providing exhibition space, café and a 375 seater auditorium/cinema.

Highly commended: Mill Markets - Tom Band, Ciara Hunter, Kristen Tan, Cressy Lopez, Shemol Rahman

Highly commended: Mill Markets - Tom Band, Ciara Hunter, Kristen Tan, Cressy Lopez, Shemol Rahman

Another Vertical Studio winner, this proposal reflects on the industrial heritage of the site where the Kennet & Avon Canal joins the River Avon, and where the current Bath Waterside Travelodge is situated. The scheme accommodates semi-permanent start-ups and temporary markets as part of a creative hub, centred on a new building, to replace the existing hotel.

Highly commended: Avon Ellipse – Sharon Chatterton & Ross Melbourne

Highly commended: Avon Ellipse – Sharon Chatterton and Ross Melbourne

Another lido scheme, this colourful proposal’s shape echoes the parabolic weir, ocular motifs of Pulteney Bridge, and the oval maze in Beazer Gardens.

Previous story (AJ 08.01.15)

RIBA opens future Bath ideas contest

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