Timber Hut Competition, Middlehaven Contest

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Timber Hut Competition, England

Middlehaven Contest: County Durham Architecture, northeast of England, UK

19 May 2011

Timber Hut Competition Middlehaven

Over 35 young Northeast designers register for timber hut competition at £200m RiversideOne development, Middlesbrough

More than 35 young Northeast designers have registered to enter a timber hut design competition which will see the winning proposals built at Middlesbrough’s £200m RiversideOne residential development on the former site of the town’s Middlehaven Docks.

Timber Hut Competition, Middlehaven design contest
picture from organisers

Entries will be judged by a panel of experts including internationally renowned architect Professor Will Alsop who was responsible for RiversideOne’s original masterplan and who also had the idea for the huts competition.

The huts will provide facilities for residents and visitors to RiversideOne with possible proposed uses including a miniature theatre, a coffee bar, bike shelters and beach huts although competition entrants are allowed to make their own suggestions.

The competition is being run by Northern Architecture, the architecture centre for the Northeast of England, and entrants are all under 34 and are architects or designers based in the region. From a commercial perspective, designers also have the option to link with regionally-based entrepreneurs and will submit hut design proposals along with a business plan demonstrating the viability of their venture.

Professor Alsop’s idea was in response to a request from RiversideOne developer, BioRegional Quintain, to address the current economic climate by creating opportunity at Middlehaven for designers and entrepreneurs. His subsequent thought of utilising lower cost buildings that can be constructed quickly to meet specific requirements has provided an ideal solution.

Although timber has been suggested as the construction material of the buildings, entries will also be accepted for buildings to be built from other sustainable materials such as recycled plastics and glass.

Winners will be announced in June with one first prize of £1,000 being awarded with further prizes of £500 each for the two submissions deemed to be runners-up. The winning individual or team will then work with BioRegional Quintain on realising their design concepts and, if relevant, business ideas. It is anticipated that the first hut will be placed on the development towards the end of this year.

Commenting on the design completion, BioRegional Quintain managing director, Pete Halsall, said: “RiversideOne will create a vibrant new district of Middlesbrough and the timber huts will play a significant role in ensuring its diversity and originality as a destination. We are delighted to open up the opportunity for young designers and entrepreneurs to get involved and be part of Riverside One.

“By providing designers and entrepreneurs with the opportunity to create unique structures for a variety of leisure and commercial uses the winning designs will contribute greatly to creating a place in which to live, work and relax that will be unlike any other.

“We are looking forward to seeing the entries and no doubt they will contain some really innovative thinking and ideas. It is going to be a pleasure to judge them and we are looking forward to working closely with the winner to make their vision a reality.”

RiversideOne is completely regenerating the docks and once complete it will comprise 750 homes, Grade A offices, prime retail units, a hotel and public events space. Built according to sustainable principles, it will be the UK’s largest zero carbon development.

Work is well underway on the first apartment building at RiversideOne. Called CIAC (Community in a Cube), the building will be nine storeys high and comprise 80 studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments priced from £79,995 to £199,995. The first residents are expected to be able to move in this autumn.

Carol Botten, director at Northern Architecture, commented: “We are delighted to be running this design competition on behalf of BioRegional Quintain with its particular focus on sustainable designs and encouraging submissions from early career Northeast designers. We look forward to receiving the completed entries, celebrating their success and finally seeing the structures come alive.”

The initiative is the latest development in the area’s long-term regeneration, following an £18m remediation process led by the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA), which is also supporting the BioRegional Quintain’s RiversideOne scheme.

Anne Mulroy, head of area at the HCA, said: “In difficult economic times, it is important to create opportunities in imaginative ways, and this is a great example of innovation in action. With work well underway on RiversideOne as well as new parking and transport links, Middlehaven is continuing to make progress towards a new future with jobs, homes and learning in an exciting riverside location.”

To find out more about Northern Architecture visit www.northernarchitecture.com and for further information on RiversideOne go to www.riverside-one.com

Location: Middlehaven, Northeast England, UK

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The Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) is the single, national housing and regeneration delivery agency for England. Our role is to create opportunity for people to live in high-quality, sustainable places. We provide funding for affordable housing, bring land back into productive use and improve quality of life by raising standards for the physical and social environment.

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