Lakes housing contest enters second stage

Five architectural practices shortlisted for the Royal Institute of British Architects competition to redevelop the Mark House and Park Nightclub site at Whitehaven harbour in Cumbria have entered a second stage of the design process.

The schemes have been developed further and the original design proposals refined following feedback from the Stage 1 assessment.

The finalists for the £10m residential-led scheme by Magnus Homes are:

  • Austin-Smith:Lord
  • Renato Sarno Group and Proginvest
  • Richard Murphy Architects
  • RMJM Scotland
  • Shed KM Architects

The competition is being organised on behalf of Britain's Energy Coast West Cumbria and Magnus Homes by the Royal Institute of British Architects competitions unit, with the support of Places Matter! the architecture centre for the North West.

Magnus has already built apartments on a site across the road in an earlier project.

Paul Crooks, programme manager for Britain's Energy Coast West Cumbria, said: "We received some very useful and thoughtful comments from the public during the first stage and we would urge all those interested in the future development of Whitehaven to see how the shortlisted teams have responded to the challenges set for them."

The comments taken from the public consultation will be fed through to the judging panel for the final assessment in late November where a winner will be selected.

The five schemes will be on display at Unit 2, Pears House, Whitehaven harbour from Saturday 6 November to Friday 12 November between 10am and 4pm daily.

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Your Comments

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Taking a step back… Will the overall bidding costs for this project
be more than the actual fee realised by the ‘lucky’ winner. Will local authority procurement stop bleeding the private sector and just make decisions quickly and properly. Is a shortlist of five really needed for a bit of housing and a night club?
As some one said ‘ go outside and have a word with yourself. ‘

By Brian

Public tendering in most cases is a shambles in my experience. At best those who handle it are incompetent – away on holiday on the deadline dates, after interview – deciding to retender and then choosing completely different people or giving it to their ‘mates’. One can spend enormous amounts on travel and preparation all for nothing when you haven’t a cat in hells chance. Anti-competition is rife but no-one will do anything about it for fear of blacklisting. Time to take action!

By Cynthia Cynical

Not exactly anonymous. A ‘signature’ scheme from one? And another that appears to recycle its designers’ own research on the presentation boards – perhaps identifiably so? – research done incidentally for another biggish scheme in the same town, for the local council. Hmmm….

By Charles Prince

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