1 October 2008
Landscape architecture practices from across the world have passed the first stage in creating outstanding public spaces in six town centres in Lancashire.
The Pennine Lancashire Squared competition invited practices to submit Expressions of Interest to create world-class public space in Burnley, Accrington, Blackburn, Bacup, Clitheroe and Nelson. Six shortlists have now been selected, each consisting of five teams, to come up with concept designs.
The competition, run by the Landscape Institute, was commissioned by Elevate, a regeneration agency working with partners from the public and private sectors to improve the housing market in Pennine Lancashire. The competition is the brainchild of Yvette Livesey and her late partner, music mogul Anthony H Wilson. They proposed the competition through their work with Elevate as a means of attracting talent to the area, raising its profile and creating outstanding public spaces in each town.
A total of 26 landscape architecture and architecture teams were whittled down from 78 Expressions of Interest after a judging day last week. Successful international entries include Balmori Associates Inc, based in New York, Dutch firm OKRA Landscape Architects and Mitchell + Associates, who are located in Ireland. Four practices – Gillespies, Birds Portchmouth Russum, Landscape Projects and Taylor Young Limited - have made the shortlist for two different squares.
Stephen Hodder MBE, Chair of the judging panel, said today: “The 78 pre-qualification submissions were of a consistently high standard and comprised a number of inventive and memorable approaches to the design of the public realm in Pennine Lancashire. This made for much animated debate amongst the judging panel. I believe the shortlist for each square includes an intriguing mix of visionary teams of differing qualities, and offers exciting possibilities for the second stage of the competition.”
Chief Executive of Elevate Max Steinberg, said: “For Pennine Lancashire to be the focus of the biggest international competition of its kind is a fitting tribute not just to the place and the people who live here, but also to all the partners who are working hard to make this competition a success.
“Particular credit must go to Livesey Wilson Associates who dared to dream of Pennine Lancashire four years ago, and to the local authorities who are helping to make that dream a reality. We should also recognise the Herculean efforts of the competition judging panel members who scaled a veritable mountain of entries to select the very best for our shortlist.”
Detailed site briefs will now be provided so shortlisted teams can develop concept designs. They will also be invited to attend an on-site briefing day to give them an opportunity to meet key stakeholders and they will be required to participate in a creative programme of community engagement.
The shortlisting was based on criteria including an understanding of the role that good design could play in improving Pennine Lancashire Squares, as well as range of appropriate expertise and clarity of proposal.
The Landscape Institute, the chartered body for landscape architects, is running the competition, with the support of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). The competition has received funding from the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA) and is being implemented by the Boroughs of Blackburn with Darwen, Burnley, Hyndburn, Pendle, Ribble Valley and Rossendale, with support from Lancashire County Council. CABE Space is providing ongoing support for the development of Pennine Lancashire Squared.
For more details, visit www.penninelancashire.com/landscape.
Balmori Associates Inc
Taylor Young Limited
Taylor Young Limited
MESH Partnership and Studio Weave
Kinnear Landscape Architects and Martin Stockley Associates
Mitchell + Associates
Graeme Massie Architects
Birds Portchmouth Russum
Robinson Landscape Design
Birds Portchmouth Russum
Notes to editors:
Interviews and photo opportunities are available with Stephen Hodder MBE, Yvette Livesey, and Max Steinberg.
The six sites are:
The Landscape Institute is the professional body and regulator for landscape architecture. Under its Royal Charter the Landscape Institute is charged with protecting, conserving and enhancing the natural and built environment for the benefit of the public.
Elevate: A regeneration agency in Pennine Lancashire. It was established in 2003 to renew the housing market in the former mills towns of the area.
Livesey Wilson Associates: Yvette Livesey and her late partner Anthony H Wilson were engaged to come up with a radical programme of cultural and social projects that would support the physical regeneration funded by Elevate. They came up with the competition in their report, Dreaming of Pennine Lancashire.
NWDA: The Northwest Regional Development Agency leads the economic development and regeneration of England’s Northwest and is responsible for:
CABE Space: CABE Space is the specialist public space part of CABE (Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment). It aims to bring excellence to the design and management of public space by working with public sector clients and other organisations across England.
PLLACE: Pennine Lancashire Leaders and Chief Executives was established more than three years ago and brings together the senior political and officer leadership of the local authorities of Pennine Lancashire – the boroughs of Blackburn with Darwen, Burnley, Hyndburn, Pendle, Ribble Valley and Rossendale – and Lancashire County Council with the Chamber of Commerce, Lancashire Economic Partnership, Primary Care Trusts and the Elevate Housing Market Renewal Pathfinder.
Living Places: Living Places aims to demonstrate how culture and sport can underpin regeneration and contribute to sustainable communities. Living Places has identified Pennine Lancashire Squared as a priority project
Places Matter!: Places Matter! aims to drive up the quality of place making in the Northwest, providing support and celebrating success. Places Matter! is an Architecture and Built Environment Centre and a member of the Architecture Centre Network.
English Heritage: English Heritage exists to conserve and promote England’s spectacular historic environment and ensure that its past is understood and enjoyed.
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