New Islington competition winners announced

Developer Urban Splash has chosen two joint winners to find a temporary use for an empty site on the New Islington development in east Manchester.

Urban Splash is working in conjunction with urban regeneration company New East Manchester, Property Week magazine, and the Homes & Communities Agency to create an interim use of a 0.7 acre site.

More than 30 entries were received after the competition was launched in July and the winners included London-based painter Jock McFadyen and Spitalfields architect Chris Dyson whose idea The Field is a lighting scheme that will flood the piece of land with vivid colours, inspired by the use of powerful floodlights during the Edinburgh Festival to animate the city's monuments and buildings.

Chris Wilkins and Rachel WithamNEM said the other winner, Sow-Sew, by Cardiff designers Chris Wilkins and Rachel Witham will involve "creating a field of flax on the site, as a symbol of Manchester's textile heritage".

Tom Bloxham, chairman of Urban Splash, said: "We had a great set of quality entries, but the judges loved the simplicity of Chris and Jock's idea and having met them were convinced both with the integrity of the idea and their ability to deliver. The 'Sow-Sew' flax by Chris and Rachel will follow on and is sure to engage the public as the site will visibly change over the period. It will be a privilege for Urban Splash to be able to host another great piece of art and keep up the creative momentum in New Islington. We try and be world class in all we do and I don't think either project will disappoint."

"We've loved getting involved with Property Week's Site Life competition. We've had really great entries that showed real creativity. These are difficult times for all the property industry and this is another way we can use our imagination and ideas to improve our sites. And I'm looking forward to the finished schemes and seeing the wonder and excitement of everyone who visits."

Eddie Smith, chief executive of New East Manchester, added: "It was great to get such a high level of interest from a diverse range of organisations. Ideas were submitted from national architecture practices through to small community groups. Clearly a great deal of thought had gone into their submissions and everyone who entered should be applauded for their efforts."

 The FieldChris Dyson, one of the creators of The Field, said: "The Field proposes no structure, but takes an empty space that represents the future square behind Urban Splash's future development and transforms it very simply yet very dramatically. We think it will look fantastic and become a temporary landmark for East Manchester."

Rachel Witham, one of the creators of Sow-Sew, said: "Inspired by the site's textile heritage, we will be planting a field of flax, which will be sewn, harvested and processed on site, into fabric and paper, by volunteers and local artists. We hope it will heighten people's awareness of the seasons, from the emergence of tiny seedlings in spring to the dense and beautiful haze of blue in autumn. We're looking forward to seeing the scheme develop and are working with local community group Manchester Environmental Research Centre Initiative to deliver it in a way that will best involve the local people."

The Field will run first and end in spring 2011 when it will be followed by Sow-Sew, which will start to become evident as the flax starts to sprout. This will allow the temporary site to change throughout the year.

Along with Bloxham, the judges included Property Week's editor, Giles Barrie, Deborah McLaughlin, the HCA's North West director, NEM's chief executive Eddie Smith, Maria Balshaw from the Whitworth Art Gallery, architect Ian Simpson and Amanda Baillieu, editor of Building Design.

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