RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) recently announced the finalists in their Cronton Colliery Competition. The challenge to design a pioneering new visitor destination on a former colliery has inspired creative teams across the world to push the boundaries of landscape and architecture. Hassell, Hawkins/Brown, Michael Lee Architects and Edward Architecture & Matthew Riley are the four of the most inventive schemes that have been invited to the final stage for the chance to see their vision become a reality. More images and information after the break.
The Land Trust’s international design competition attracted 50 entries from all over the world, including innovative projects designed by teams in South Korea, Japan and Italy. The national land charity is now one step closer to finding the most inspirational design and funding solution for a new visitor destination and public open space at the former Cronton Colliery in Knowsley.
Matthew Bradbury, Director of Operations at the Land Trust, commented “We were blown away by the creativity and vision of the proposals. Each one offered a unique take on the brief, demonstrating empathy and understanding of the site based on its past and future contexts, in tune with the vision and values of the Land Trust. It has been encouraging to see so many of the proposals seriously considering the long term sustainability of the new visitor destination at every level – from strategic development and modular schemes right down to renewable energy sources and pioneering closed loop systems.”
The eclectic mix of proposals include dynamic combinations of art installations, nature reserves and education facilities, eco-glamping, multi-activity centers, biomass facilities, viewing towers, ecological restoration programs, wind turbines, improved community infrastructure, abundant opportunities for community involvement and creation of new jobs to boost the local economy.
Speaking on behalf of the panel of judges, Director of Planit IE, Pete Swift, explained, “The abundance and diversity of the proposals highlights the industry’s enthusiasm to create a truly inspirational new model of visitor attraction. The teams invited to interview at the final stage demonstrate outstanding quality, inventiveness and flair in their responses to the brief, site and context. The challenge for those teams now is to enhance their ideas, fine tune designs and focus on the financial sustainability of their proposals.”
Explaining the innovative competition, the Land Trust’s chief executive Euan Hall commented, “The former Cronton Colliery is a fabulous space that has the very real potential to become a magnificent 21st century visitor destination for the North West.
“By working with RIBA Competitions on this we are hoping to change the way design teams create schemes in the future. We believe that open spaces have the potential to be the catalyst for change and can impact far more than just the ‘environment’.
“The issue of long-term funding for new schemes is often overlooked but we are hoping that, through this process, we can go some way to changing that mind-set whilst providing a sensationally designed scheme for the local community and visitors to the site.”
The finalists have been invited to go through to the second stage of the competition with the winners being revealed on Thursday 19 April. A highly commended selection of entries, including the four finalists, will be displayed at the Leeds Design and Innovation Centre, 46 The Calls, Leeds, LS2 7EY, from Monday 2 April to Friday 4 May inclusive. The gallery is open Monday to Friday 9am-5pm.