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UCLan architecture students make shortlist in industry competition

13 November 2013

Lyndsey Boardman

Royal Institute of British Architects seeks to transform Preston’s neglected spaces

Students from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) have pitted their architectural skills against industry practitioners in a bid to re-connect redundant and neglected spaces across Preston with the community.

Third year architecture student Katie Nicholson joined fifth year students Joseph Cook, Emma McQuillan and Keith Tasker, alongside UCLan graduate John Bridge, in the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Forgotten Spaces competition which invited architects, students and designers to put forward innovative concepts to regenerate areas of Preston.

The one graduate and four student projects made the final shortlist of 22 entries selected from all over the country and their work is on display in an exhibition at 50-52 Lancaster Road in central Preston.

Katie Nicholson, a 20-year-old student from Staffordshire believed to be the youngest person to enter the competition, commented: “I chose to focus on the canal basin which is just behind my house and before Forgotten Spaces I had no idea it was there.

“It’s a really peaceful space and my proposal is an arched structure to signify the beginning of the Lancaster Canal and to reconnect the site and the people of Preston with their industrial past.”

 

“It has been a massively rewarding experience and the fact we were shortlisted was an amazing accomplishment.”

Fifth year students Joseph Cook and Keith Tasker worked together on a project called The Hive to provide an urban solution to the shortage in student accommodation.

Joseph said: “Knowing there were qualified architects in the competition didn't faze us. There is always a degree of insecurity in architectural design but having confidence in our ideas counteracts any worries that we may have had.

“It has been a massively rewarding experience and the fact we were shortlisted was an amazing accomplishment.”

The judging panel included RIBA President, Stephen Hodder, Bob Allies of Allies and Morrison, Architects Journal news editor Richard Waite, architect Alex McCrickard of the Eric Wright Group, Places Matter! design review manager Charlotte Myhrum, and Creative Tourist editor and founder Susie Stubbs.

UCLan architecture lecturer Laura Sherliker commented: “I have always enjoyed the Forgotten Spaces competition as it seeks out redundant spaces and invites innovative design proposals for re-use and regeneration.

“It was therefore a fantastic achievement to have so many UCLan students exhibit as part of the final shortlist. Competitions like this are encouraging especially because they give everyone an opportunity to showcase their creativity.”

 

“I have been impressed by the creativity, vision and quality of some of the ideas put forward and the exhibition is a great opportunity to showcase these excellent works.”

Councillor John Swindells, Deputy Leader of Preston City Council said: “I am delighted that there has been huge interest in Preston with entries coming in from right across the country.

“The standard of entries has been extremely high, and the judges certainly had a tough time choosing the winners so congratulations to everyone who took part. I have been impressed by the creativity, vision and quality of some of the ideas put forward and the exhibition is a great opportunity to showcase these excellent works.”

The winning entry was called ‘canaLIDO’, a proposal to bring back to life the Lancaster Canal Basin by creating a sense of community through the construction of a lido. Second place went to ‘Shelf Life’, a project to transform Avenham car-park into a multi-storey farming estate and third place to ‘Woven In Cotton’, a plan to bring life to the forgotten weinds and yards through the creation of a craft market and fashion show.

Forgotten Spaces Preston was sponsored by the Eric Wright Group, Booths and Lancashire County Council, and supported by Preston City Council, the University of Central Lancashire and the North Lancashire Society of Architects.