A CABE exhibition opening at New London Architecture in London on 17 January 2008 will show what design competitions can achieve – and that they are one of the best ways to procure well-designed buildings and places. Competitions Work will feature the winning projects and runners-up for the three UK sites for Europan 9, Europe’s leading housing and urban design competition for young professionals.
The sites in Milton Keynes, Sheffield and Stoke-on-Trent are actual developments and the winners will be announced on 16 January 2008. Competitions Work will also showcase completed schemes from other design competitions supported by CABE. These include high-quality housing projects, healthcare facilities, education buildings and public space, such as Bourbon Lane Housing in Hammersmith and Fulham, Kaleidoscope Children and Young People’s Centre in Lewisham, Hoyle Early Years Centre in Bury, and the Old Market Square in Nottingham. Competitions attract keen design teams and can unlock underused talent in big architecture practices. While in Europe competitions are routinely used for smaller-scale, everyday projects, in the UK they tend to be used for large, landmark projects. Opportunities to get the highest-quality designs for a whole range of projects – big and small – may therefore be being lost.
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