A new public realm design competition is being organised through a collaboration of Kingston Council, Kingston First, charity Creative Youth and Kingston University to revitalise the riverside frontage around John Lewis and Kingston Bridge.
Submissions will need to relate and respond to two new initiatives in locations that border the area; 7,000 sq ft of publicly accessible creative space for pop-ups and performances ‘The Factory of Futures’ which will be located in the Undercroft, and a space for start ups; The Knowledge Exchange. Although the creative space and workspace will bring new life to this area, there is an opportunity for the public realm to be redesigned and repurposed to offer new potential space for creative community activity and enticing gateways into the two new premises. The brief for design entries is available to view by clicking here.
The public realm improvements will be funded by a £200,000 investment from Kingston Council, which was successfully obtained in Autumn 2020 via a partnership of Kingston Council, Kingston University, Kingston First and the charity Creative Youth from The Mayor of London’s Getting Building Fund.
Kirsten Henly, Chief Executive at Kingston First, said: “This design competition is an exciting example of the ‘Reimagining Kingston Town Centre’s Streets and Spaces’ strategy being brought to life to improve the town centre experience. This is an opportunity to make a valuable contribution to improving and better connecting this length of Kingston’s riverside, and we are keen to hear from up and coming landscape architecture and design teams, as well as established firms. We’re looking forward to receiving creative responses to the brief celebrating the heritage of the area and providing an improved public realm for people to explore and enjoy.”
Nazeya Hussain, Executive Director of Place at Kingston Council, said: “This is an exciting opportunity for anybody interested in urban design. You may be an established architectural practice or you might be a start-up design studio or a student with great ideas about how our riverside space can be more animated, fun and interesting. We are keen to hear from locally based practices and individuals, as well as underrepresented groups.
We want to create a flexible and animated public space that encourages exploration and appreciation of the riverside and town, supports cultural and creative events, accommodates pop up activity such as markets, workshops, performance and displays, and is environmentally sustainable and accessible to all.”
Robin Hutchinson, Chair of Creative Youth, said: “This is a real opportunity to provide a visual progression to and from the green spaces of Canbury Gardens and the town centre riverside. It can become an attractive and engaging public space for enjoyment, activity and relaxation, making the most of its location next to the Thames. It can bring energy and animation next to the Bridge and draw together what will be the new Factory of Futures and the town centre.”
The competition is open to anybody interested in urban design. You may be an established architectural practice or you might be a start-up design studio or a student with great ideas about how our riverside space can be more animated, fun and interesting. We are keen to hear from locally based practices/individuals as well as underrepresented groups.
Final date for competition entries is 12 noon on 21 May 2021. You can find the brief, further information and details of how to apply here.