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Heathrow Architecture Competition, London, UK
Greenpeace Airplot Competition : British Architecture Contest Information
page updated 27 Aug 2016
Greenpeace Competition, London, England, UK
23 Apr 2010 – submission deadline
Architectural Competition that Greenpeace is currently running in London : the Heathrow Contest is an open ideas competition for designs to fortify the Airplot.
This architecture competition is open to architects, landscape architects, architectural students and architect-led mixed disciplinary teams.
The Heathrow Contest – an open ideas competition to fortify the airplot
In January 2009, Greenpeace, Alistair McGowan, Emma Thompson and Zac Goldsmith bought a plot of land in the middle of the proposed Heathrow third runway site to stop BAA plans. Since then, tens of thousands of people all over the world have become beneficial owners of the Airplot.
‘in January 2009 the UK government announced that a third runway should be built at heathrow. two days before this announcement greenpeace revealed that it had purchased a piece of land – airplot – on the proposed new runway site. this marked the start of an epic battle. The government has committed the uK to an 80% cut in climate changing emissions by 2050. yet airport expansion will make this target impossible to reach.
The new heathrow runway also threatens to subject londoners to increased noise and air pollution, and destroy the local communities of sipson, harmondsworth and harlington. In rising to the challenge of climate change, many architects, designers, urban planners and engineers are already streets ahead of the politicians that represent us.
The ideas, ability and ingenuity is out there, yet backward government decisions, like the one to support a third runway at heathrow, threaten to undermine the quiet revolution that is already underway. in a low carbon world, carbon intensive infrastructure, such as a third runway at heathrow, have no place.
This open ideas competition invites architects, landscape architects, architectural students, engineers, artists and other design professionals to help us. greenpeace is seeking a winning design to fortify the airplot that will help us to finally defeat the third runway plans for good. the winning entry will be an exemplary piece of sustainable design: a practical solution with cultural and aesthetic power to match the depth and importance of what’s at stake.
Join the good guys in a battle of the architects. The opposition – BAA – is planning to spend millions on its development. our budget may be smaller, but we have the future on our side. only one building will be left standing at the end. and if your design wins, thousands of people are ready to put their bodies in front of baa’s bulldozers to make sure it is yours.’
John Sauven, Executive Director – Greenpeace
The Airplot: huge three metre gravel letters have been dug into the ground spelling out OUR CLIMATE, OUR LAND.
Airplot is the piece of land in the middle of the proposed third runway site at Heathrow Airport, owned by Greenpeace, Emma Thompson, Alistair McGowan, Zac Goldsmith and tens of thousands of people from around the world. the airplot is a fundamental part of the campaign by greenpeace and other groups to block construction of a new runway. a new runway would destroy communities, increase noise and air pollution, and contribute significantly to climate-changing greenhouse gas emissions.
So far, airplot has provided a platform from which to fight the moral and political campaign against the runway. greenpeace is now inviting professional designers and design teams to consider how to fortify and enhance the airplot so that if necessary, we can physically block construction of a third runway. The winning design will gain international attention. its aesthetic and cultural power will help us win the moral and political campaign before construction is even attempted. but above all it will be a practical solution, facilitating resistance to the development of the runway if full scale non-violent direct action is necessary.
Of course, we hope that the winning design will never actually need to be built. no new government will be able to justify continued support for the third runway. however, as we know, governments can break promises. if BAA’s third runway plans are pushed towards construction, whenever that may be, then preparations for non-violent resistance will escalate and steps towards building our winning design will start.
Aviation and Climate Change
In January 2009, the government announced its support for BAA’s plans to build a third runway and sixth terminal at Heathrow airport. A third runway at Heathrow is the jewel in the crown of an out-of-date government aviation policy which would see nearly 30 airports expand across the UK. It is also on the frontline of climate changing infrastructure.
The government’s aviation policy is completely inconsistent with its wider climate change commitments. A third runway would make Heathrow airport the UK’s largest single source of greenhouse gas emissions and undermine all other efforts to reduce our emissions. In a carbon constrained world, where greenhouse gas emissions must be massively reduced if we are to protect the planet and people around the world, carbon-intensive infrastructure like new runways have no place.
Greenpeace is committed to stopping a third runway at Heathrow and other airport expansion plans across the UK. In January 2009, Greenpeace joined with Emma Thompson, Alistair McGowan and Zac Goldsmith to buy a plot of land slap bang in the middle of the site where BAA wants to build its third runway. We called it Airplot. Since then, tens of thousands of people from around the world have signed up to become beneficial owners of the Airplot to help stop the runway being built.
Airplot was conceived to help block construction of a third runway in three ways:
• to bring people together to help fight the moral and political battle against the runway and strengthen the community block to expansion;
• to allow Greenpeace to participate in any planning or Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) process and block expansion through legal means; and ultimately
• to enable us to stand in the way of construction and take non-violent
Over the last 12 months, Airplot has become a symbol of positive and widespread resistance to the runway. It is a vibrant, living space from which Greenpeace, together with local residents, politicians and other groups, has been fighting the moral and political campaign. A campaign we are beginning to win.
There is now unprecedented and widespread opposition to the plans – ranging from local residents and local councils, to business leaders, NGOs and MPs from all parties. Nearly every single national newspaper has run editorials against the expansion plans and the third runway at Heathrow is now seen as one of the biggest tests of the government’s climate change commitments.
2010 could see plans for a third runway finally being stopped. A new government must overturn the decision to allow Heathrow to expand. However, if they don’t, then BAA is expected to submit a planning application for a third runway and sixth terminal in 2011. Greenpeace will fight this every step of the way. If the planning application is approved, we are committed to taking non-violent direct action to block construction. Residents, activists and members of the public from around the country will join us.
“It is important to understand that many individuals in the business community do not believe that the rationale put forward for the third runway at Heathrow is sufficient to justify the government’s recent decision” : 13 leading business figures, including James Murdoch, Justin King of Sainsbury’s and Russell Chambers, Senior Advisor to Credit Suisse
More details, including the full design brief, CAD drawings and panorama pictures of the site can be found at: www.greenpeace.org.uk/heathrowcontest
14 Dec 2016
Heathrow Airport Third Runway
Heathrow Airport Third Runway Planning Application
Heathrow Airport is preparing to submit a planning application for its £18.6bn third runway project in 2019.
Between now and then there will be extensive consultation with local residents and other stakeholders on various aspects of the scheme including environmental impacts and project design.
9 Jan 2017
Article first published by Population Matters in May 2016
Population Matters supports the campaign against the construction of a third runway at London’s Heathrow Airport. Airport expansion, with all the negative consequences that ensue, is a product of population growth and an unsustainable approach to using the earth’s resources. It is based on an economic model of growth before quality of life.
The UK government announced its support for the runway at Heathrow over rival proposals, including from London’s second airport, Gatwick, all of which would have an environmental impact. It has justified the expansion in airport capacity largely in terms of economic growth, arguing that it “will better connect the UK to long haul destinations in growing world markets, boosting trade and creating jobs, passengers will benefit from more choice of airlines, destinations and flights”.
Multi Runway Hub Airport London
render : ZHA Proposal for New Passenger Terminal and Masterplan, Zagreb Airport
Multi Runway Hub Airport London
Heathrow Airport T5
photo from architects
Comments from readers very welcome – info(at)e-architect.com
Website: Heathrow Airport Third Runway – information on terminal buildings etc. from the airport operators
London Architecture Design – chronological list
Comments / photos for the Greenpeace Competition Architecture Competition page welcome