Winner Of RCA Design Competition To Revive Heritage Of Albert Embankment

11th February 2016

St James, RCA design competition winners

Design conscious developer, St James, and the internationally renowned, Royal College of Art, have announced the winner of the highly anticipated design competition for the new public realm at Albert Embankment, Lambeth.

The Multi-Use Public Space Competition, which launched last October (2015), is part of the RCA's series of live projects where students work with industry sponsors to deliver architectural designs and ultimately construct built projects.

The winning entry, entitled 'Pipe Up' draws on Lambeth's historical potteries industry and the capital's revolutionary approach to sanitation during the 19th century. The commission represents the first design collaboration for the regeneration area and plays a pivotal role in shaping the exciting new riverside destination.

The concept, designed by a team of nine students undertaking the MA Architecture Programme, will take the form of a fragmented pipe, which will provide a variety of uses throughout the public realm, including places to read, sit and lie.

The design will inform a series of interactive installations throughout the open public space, which accounts for half of the entire development site. The area will also feature a dynamic mix of 433 new homes across three architecturally striking buildings, and a thriving office and leisure hub - Albert Embankment Plaza.

St James is committed to introducing art and design through its creation of vibrant new places and this is the first element in creating a new identity for Albert Embankment. Located opposite Tate Britain, the Albert Embankment represents the gateway to Nine Elms on South Bank regeneration area and plays an important role in extending and continuing the South Bank's thriving cultural scene; creating a bridge between the existing and new riverside destinations and extending the success of the South Bank from The Shard to Battersea Power Station.

Sean Ellis, Chairman of St James, comments: "We take great pride in creating meaningful and engaging open spaces at our developments and the winning design for Albert Embankment is a prime example of this. Its strong identity resonates with the area and its history, as well as clearly demonstrates how it will be used by everyone who spends time in this new destination.

"We look forward to seeing the design progress and installed on site over the next few years."

The next step for the winning concept is to go through a development and refining stage, where prototypes will be produced for testing.

Adrian Lahoud, Dean of Architecture, RCA, adds: We are thrilled that Pipe-Up has been chosen as the winning Multi-Use Public Space. The design celebrates the heritage of the area and demonstrates outstanding creative thinking and an imaginative approach to public space. We're looking forward to taking Pipe-Up forward to become a reality for the enjoyment of residents, neighbours and visitors to Albert Embankment."

The panel of judges included representatives from the RCA, St James, Futurecity, Foster and Partners, Townshend Landscape Architecture, Lambeth Council and the GLA. The three commended schemes include: Culture Farm; There Is A Light That Never Goes Out; Future Heritage Appreciation Society.

Mark Davy, Founder and Director of Futurecity, comments: "Placemaking plays a key role across all of St James' developments, and through its dedication to quality and design, we can create meaningful strategies together which deliver places where people want to live and be a part of. We are delighted to have brokered the partnership between St James and RCA and are excited to support the further development of the winning proposal."

St James started work on the Albert Embankment regeneration in 2013 and all three developments are due for completion in 2019.

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