West Lakes design contest inundated

One hundred and forty architects have entered the competition to design a new block of flats and offices on the harbourside in Whitehaven, Cumbria.

Local house builder Magnus Homes is seeking a design for a £10m project to redevelop Mark House and Park Nightclub. The site is across the road from an existing scheme already completed by Magnus Homes before the market crashed.

An exhibition of the design proposals submitted to the first stage of the competition are to be displayed in Whitehaven town centre, at Unit 2, Pears House, Whitehaven Harbour from Wednesday 22 September to Tuesday 28 September 2010 between 10.00am and 4pm daily.

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

The anonymous exhibition will be used to inform the Judging Panel when they meet to short-list five schemes to proceed to the second stage of the competition.

The Judging Panel will consist of representatives from Britain's Energy Coast West Cumbria, Copeland Borough Council, Magnus Homes, Places Matter! and Whitehaven Harbour Commissioners, together with Stephen Hodder of Hodder + Partners, Manchester acting as the RIBA Architect Adviser.

A RIBA spokesman said: "The winning scheme will need to be capable of setting a benchmark for creative, contextual design and achieving a sustainable development of long-lasting architectural quality."

The Judging Panel will reconvene to select the winning scheme in late November 2010.

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