The London Borough of Richmond upon Thames is holding an international competition to decide the future of Twickenham Riverside in south-west London (Deadline: 7 May)
The contest, launched by the RIBA, will select a multidisciplinary team to rethink a large riverside site stretching between Water and Wharf Lanes, and including the Embankment.
The competition follows the withdrawal of a planning application by architect Francis Terry and Carey Jones Chapman Tolcher for the prominent waterfront area (pictured), which formerly contained a swimming pool and has been the subject of debate surrounding its redevelopment for decades.
Francis Terry won a council-run contest for the development three years ago, beating Kemp Muir Wealleans, Atkins and John Simpson Architects, but the scheme was scrapped after the Liberal Democrats political party took control of the local authority in May last year.
The winner of the latest contest will deliver a contextual mixed-use scheme featuring at least 50 per cent affordable housing along with a major new public space or town square. Flexible workspaces, community uses and cultural facilities may also be included.
RIBA adviser Sarah Williams of S Williams Architects said: ‘It’s not often that architects get the opportunity to design a scheme along this stretch of the River Thames.
‘Added to that is the council’s aspiration to create something beautiful and valuable for the local community; a collection of places, spaces and buildings that can bring vibrancy and focus to this part of Twickenham. I’m looking forward to helping the council with this next stage of the project’s development.’
Richmond Council leader Gareth Roberts said: ‘Twickenham Riverside should be the flourishing centre of Twickenham and the local area, but instead it’s being used as a car park with parking prioritised over people.
‘For nearly 40 years this beautiful stretch of the River Thames has been awaiting a design that can showcase the riverside as a destination for people to live, play, work, enjoy and thrive. We are delighted to be working with RIBA Competitions to find an architect who has the vision and skills to deliver a design which creates a heart for Twickenham.
‘Understanding the history of the site is key, but now it is time to look forwards. This is a great opportunity to deliver real change through an exciting, energising and fabulous design. We must invest in the future of Twickenham. I very much look forward to seeing the designs and working with the chosen team to make the riverside a destination we can all be proud of.’
Five teams will each receive £6,500 to develop conceptual plans for the site following a first-round selection questionnaire.
How to apply
The deadline for applications is 2pm, 7 May
No 1 Aire Street
Tel: 0113 203 1490
Visit the competition website for more information
Q&A with Gareth Roberts
The council leader discusses his ambitions for the competition
Why are your holding an international contest to rethink the future of Twickenham Riverside?
The right design for this site has the potential to transform Twickenham and perceptions of it, drawing visitors towards exploring the riverside area, and making a major contribution to the quality of life and economic success of the area. Given the importance of getting this right we wanted to run a competition that would attract a wide variety of talented and innovative architects and we are very excited to see the teams that come forward.
What is your vision for the waterfront area?
Twickenham Riverside should be the flourishing centre of Twickenham and the local area, but instead it’s being used as a car park with parking prioritised over people. For nearly 40 years this beautiful stretch of the river Thames has been awaiting a design that can showcase the riverside as a destination for people to live, play, work, enjoy and thrive. We are looking to find an architect who has the vision and skills to deliver a design which creates a heart for Twickenham.
What sort of architects and designers are you hoping will apply?
Open to all architects who meet the criteria in the competition documents – this is a fantastic opportunity – from the small, emerging to the larger and established; from undiscovered talents to the internationally renowned. This is an important part of the riverside that offers a great opportunity to make a mark.
Which other design opportunities are on the horizon and how will the architects/designers be procured?
We do not have any projects that we are able to disclose at this time.
Are there any other recent contextual waterfront redevelopment projects you have been impressed by?
We don’t want to point to other redevelopments, we want architects to look in detail at Twickenham and come forward with proposals that truly reflects the local context whilst also establishing a new benchmark for a development in this beautiful riverside setting.