In the lead up to the Olympics, the drive to enhance public space and broaden local engagement is on the rise. Despite high demand for real estate in London, there still remain pockets of estranged land, which could be developed to provide improved links and amenities for local communities. Complementing the Mayor’s Great Spaces initiative, aimed at improving public realm across London, Forgotten Spaces seeks out under used areas of London, the places that do not yet have a place in the minds and hearts of local communities, and explores their possibilities.
In most cases it is the people living and working locally who are best placed to pinpoint hidden sites and who can also outline the needs of the neighbouring area.
Forgotten Spaces asks architects, artists, engineers and landscape designers living and working in Greater London to nominate an existing local site, build a case for what the community really needs and propose ideas for how this could be translated into a conceptual design scheme.
The ‘forgotten space’ could be small or large – a grassy verge, a wasteland, an unused car park, a derelict building or an underpass or a fl yover. The proposal could be simple or complex, commercial or public, a piece of public art or a new building; the only requirement is that it answers a need in the area and serves a function for the local community.
Competitors should consider accessibility, sustainability, inclusivity, cost relative to the site, possible multi-programming and durability. The proposals will not be constructed; however the best designs will be exhibited in a public exhibition at the National Theatre on London’s Southbank (25 May – 4 July 2010), allowing people from all over London and visitors from further afi eld to view the best proposals.
Forgotten Spaces is intended to provoke discussion amongst landowners, local authorities and investors across the London boroughs. It will unearth places not previously regarded as profi table or worthy of development. It is about regeneration via a diverse grass roots approach, allowing local artists, architects and designers who care about their quarter of the city to come up with solutions for individual sites using sustainable and viable means, as an alternative to a top down approach.
Three top prizes and up to fi ve commendations will be awarded to the best schemes.
1st Prize: £5,000
2nd Prize: £2,000
3rd Prize: £1,000
A shortlist of up to 40 of the best proposals will be shown in an exhibition at the National Theatre 25 May – 4 July 2010 (dates tbc) providing a platform for architects, artists and designers to promote their work to a wider audience.
Project partners Design for London, Qatari Diar and RIBA London will jointly announce the winners at a launch event on 25 May (date tbc) at the National Theatre to an invited audience of 250 architects, artists, designers, developers and local authority representatives.
The competition is open to students, artists and design professionals living and working in Greater London.
All entrants are required to register for the competition by 12 February 2010. After the registration date, entrants will receive the submission board template and an authorship declaration form. Competitors then have until 11 March to fi nalise and submit their competition entries. Competition registration incurs a one-off £10 administration fee.