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FUTURE CITIES FORUM Summer Awards 2023

The 21 shortlisted projects across 7 categories of the built environment were assessed and judged by an all-female panel on 14th June 2023 in the Nash Room at the Haymarket Hotel:

Ellie Evans, Managing Partner, Volterra Partners,

Ruchi Chakravarty, Head of Place Shaping, Westminster City Council

Amanda Saunders, Development Director, Royal Opera House 

Heather Topel, Director of Development, Grosvenor Property (UK)

Nyasa Beale, Director, Scott Brownrigg,

Ros Lawler, COO, National Portrait Gallery

Claire Clement, Associate, HOK

Kelsey Stewart, Associate Partner, Pilbrow & Partners

Olivia Forty, Associate, Wright & Wright


Theatre projects

Cultural organisations have been relieved to see the back of Covid-19 restrictions, but many have been left with hefty debts. Covid-19 has shown us however just how vital accessible cultural infrastructure (galleries, museums, theatres, live music and performance venues) is to human health and well-being as well as the prosperity and attractiveness of cities. As well as recovery in footfall, do they have practical strategies to open out to communities beyond their physical walls and how are they doing this? Are there awards to be given for those projects that protect cultural heritage while modernizing for new audiences? Do they act as modern cultural anchors for the confident self-expression, brand, and identity of their districts and cities?

Brixton House: a new home for the Ovalhouse Theatre

Brixton House (Foster Wilson Size Architects for Lambeth Council and Brixton House) – a new home for the Ovalhouse theatre, and part of a Lambeth Council project to regenerate the Somerleyton Road area, near the Brixton Covered Market, with new homes, workspaces and a cultural anchor.

Brixton House Theatre + Workspace → Foster Wilson Size

Brixton House | Brixton House


Soho Place - creation of a replacement theatre by Tottenham Court Road station

Soho Place (Derwent London and Nimax Theatres) – creation of a replacement theatre as part of the Tottenham Court Road Cross Rail station development, which involved demolition.

Soho Place – Office Projects – Allford Hall Monaghan Morris | AHMM

AHMM Soho Place Theatre front.jpg

Contact Theatre Manchester

Contact Theatre, Manchester - extension and re-modelling of an important 1999  theatre (Sheppard Robson for Contact Theatre). Contact - founded in 1972 - was redeveloped and re-opened as an arts venue for young people following a  £5 million Arts Council England grant. It was RIBA building of the year in 1999.

Sheppard Robson

Contact Manchester Ethos | Contact, Manchester (

Sheppard Robson Contact Theatre exterior.jfif

Science cities:
healthcare and hospital projects

This summer 2023 we are using our science cities category to look at hospital development as the extending of hospital buildings or the creation of new healthcare facilities is very much in the news. How can the design of new hospital buildings serve patients’ needs more effectively, how does the design fit in with the surrounding environment, how have architects pushed the boundaries on net zero considerations?

University College London Hospital Phase 5

 For UCLH the practice designed a new specialist facility for ear, nose, and throat medicine: Phase 5. The site on Huntley Street is set at the heart of the Bloomsbury Conservation Area adjacent to listed residential neighbours.

UCLH Phase 5 | Pilbrow & Partners | Listed Buildings (

Pilbrow UCLH street ph 5.jpg

A new children's hospital for Cambridge

Cambridge Children’s Hospital (Cambridge University Health Partners – design team: White Arkitekter with Hawkins Brown, MJ Medical and Ramboll)

Plans for children’s hospital progress for 2023 | Cambridge Children's (

Cambridge Children's Hospital - White Arkitekter


UPMC Mercy Hospital Vision and Rehabilitation tower

UPMC Mercy Hospital (Pittsburgh) – new facility and rehabilitation building for people with impaired vision – HOK with Chris Downey

UPMC Mercy Opens Revolutionary Vision and Rehabilitation Facility - HOK

UPMC Vision and Rehabilitation Tower at UPMC Mercy - HOK

HOK UPMC Mercy CGI entrance 2019.jpg


Master-planning, regeneration & mixed use

In this category, we are looking at the sustainability of districts. What will survive as a piece of ‘leading planning and design’ that generations will look back at as outstanding? What are the characteristics of places that people love to both live and work in? How important is biodiversity and re-designing car dominated districts?

Gilston Park: plan for new homes, adjacent to Harlow 

Gilston Park – East of England Plan for new homes in collaboration with East Hertfordshire Council supporting Harlow’s regeneration (MICA and Grimshaw). 


The proposal for 10,000 homes to the north of Harlow is part of the East of England Plan to provide new homes, jobs, investment and prosperity to Harlow and the surrounding areas of Essex and Hertfordshire. The illustrative master plan delivers high quality homes across a spectrum of tenures, while developing only one-third of the available land, sustainably planned to meet identified housing needs and to help with the regeneration of Harlow.

MICA – MICA gains planning permission for 8,500 new homes at Gilston Park Estate (


The Gilston Park Estate (

MICA Gilston Park.jpg

Forum Gloucester and city centre campus development

City Centre campus and King’s Quarter district development (‘Forum Gloucester’) – including Debenhams remodelling and King’s Square regeneration (Gloucester City Council with University of Gloucestershire / ADP Architecture, and Reef Group)

Gloucester City Centre Campus: A major catalyst for a rising city's rebirth - ADP Architecture (

Forum Gloucester – Reef Group (

Reef Group Gloucester aerial-visual.jpg

Blackwall Yard - reviving a Thames-side district

Blackwall Yard – London. Thameside mixed-use redevelopment of an unloved piece of city, including a historic ‘graving’ dock, opposite the O2 Arena (Hadley Property Group / LDA Design / Tower Hamlets Council)

Blackwall Yard, Poplar | Places | Hadley Property Group

Hadley Propert Group blackwallyard view to o2.jpg


Hotels are often the anchor for major developments in cities, but are they sustainable in design? There is a new awareness of how important it is to make travel and ‘city stays’ eco-friendly. How are hotels now being designed to consider climate change, and how can new hotels (be they conversions of department stores / heritage buildings or new structures) help re-invigorate the centre of cities, and high streets?

Green walls set a standard for hotels

Citicape House, by Holborn Viaduct, City of London (Dominus Group / Sheppard Robson)

The hospitality-led, mixed-use proposal is characterised by the largest green wall in Europe. The 382-key, five-star hotel proposes 40,000sqft of workspace, a sky-bar on the tenth floor, meeting and events space, spa and ground level restaurant and co-working space. Situated on a prominent site on Holborn Viaduct at the gateway of the City’s “Culture Mile,” the building would create an opportunity to broadcast fresh ideas about how the built environment can address pertinent issues such as air quality, climate change and air pollution.


Sheppard Robson

Sheppard Robson Citicape House.jpg

House of Fraser Exeter remodelled as Hotel Indigo

Hotel Indigo, Exeter – transformation of redundant House of Fraser on Exeter High Street (Prydis)

Exeter's empty House of Fraser will become boutique Hotel Indigo - Devon Live

Exeter Lloyds Lounge April 2021.jpg

Edinburgh Princes Street icon to be transformed

Jenners Department Store, Princes Street, Edinburgh – conversion into hotel, bars and restaurants (David Chipperfield Architects with 3D Reid and Loader Monteith for Frasers Group)

Jenners • David Chipperfield Architects


Planning approval for Jenners restoration in Edinburgh | 3DReid

Chipperfield Jenners inside bar.jpg


Sports stadiums, community and regeneration

Hotels are often the anchor for major developments in cities, but are they sustainable in design? There is a new awareness of how important it is to make travel and ‘city stays’ eco-friendly. How are hotels now being designed to consider climate change, and how can new hotels (be they conversions of department stores / heritage buildings or new structures) help re-invigorate the centre of cities, and high streets?

Villa Park: opening up the fortress site

Birmingham – Villa Park (Aston Villa FC / Grimshaw / Trivandi) – Project Architect Sarah Williams of Grimshaw

The future vision of Villa Park | AVFC

GRIMSHAW-VILLA-approach at night.jpg

Peterborough's stadium in the park

Peterborough – River Nene Park regeneration and new stadium for Peterborough FC (‘The Posh’)

Embankment Stadium | Peterborough United - The Posh

Peterborough aerial-mock-up-embankment stadium.jpg

Building a stadium on a historic dock

Liverpool – Bramley-Moore Dock (Everton FC / Dan Meis Architects)

EVERTON STADIUM | About The Project

Everton FC Bramley Moore Dock dusk from jetty water.jpg


Future work places

What are the design ingredients that will draw employees back to the office? How do these new designs embrace health and wellbeing with break-out spaces? How are they integrated into their surroundings? Can we give new life to unloved buildings? Can architects re-purpose cost-effectively (and with carbon awareness) rather than demolish?

Typhoo Wharf remodelling for BBC Birmingham

BBC Birmingham new studios and offices / adaptive re-use of Typhoo Tea Factory in Digbeth (Stoford / Glenn Howells Architects / BDP)

BBC Birmingham to relocate to Digbeth's Typhoo Tea factory - BBC News

BDP to deliver regeneration of Typhoo Wharf for new BBC broadcasting house in Birmingham

Glenn Howells bbc-front Birmingham meanwhile.jpg

New home for Sony Music at King's Cross

Sony Music HQ at King’s Cross, London (MoreySmith for Sony)

Sony Music KX

 (Image of Sony Music KX from Billy Bolton)

Sony Music HQ | Kings Cross - MoreySmith - Sony Music HQ | Kings Cross

MoreySmith_Sony-Music-KX_Billy Bolton.jpg

Historic Whitechapel hospital remodelled as new Tower Hamlets Town Hall and additional work spaces

New town hall and offices for London Borough of Tower Hamlets in remodelled Royal London Hospital building (Bouygues UK and AHMM for Tower Hamlets Council)

Our New Town Hall story (

Tower Hamlets Town Hall - Bouygues UK (

ahmm Tower Hamets TH front.jpg


Place-making and healthy streets

Cities are working hard to re-invigorate central business districts, high streets and those forgotten side streets with independent shops ravaged by Covid-19, changes in working patterns and the decline of physical retail. How inventive are the projects in concept, how do they embrace sustainability, create free access, and how do they re-connect communities across dividing infrastructure attracting footfall?

Leeds South Bank re-imagined

Aire Park, Leeds (part of Tetley Brewery district regeneration (Leeds City Council / Vastint / Sisk)

Double delight as work on landmark Aire Park hits two key milestones (

Aire Park | Vastint United Kingdom

Leeds The Tetley.jpg

Newcastle's place-making

LDA Design Newcastle_PublicRealm_GreyStreet_1368.jpg

Strand Aldwych pedestrianisation - safer spaces for students, tourists and local businesses

Strand Aldwych pedestrianization – Westminster City Council, King’s College London, Somerset House Trust, Society of London Theatres, Transport for London and the Northbank BID – and LDA Design (completed late 2022)

Strand Aldwych Consultation

The Making of the Modern City ll - 'New Districts' (

Strand Aldwych Courtauld sign 2023.jpg
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