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FUTURE CITIES FORUM Summer Awards 2023 shortlisted projects

Above: Soho Place Theatre, London - shortlisted in the 'Cultural Cities' category (image from AHMM)

Future Cities Forum is delighted to announce the shortlist of 21 projects across 7 categories to be judged in June by an all-female panel of judges at the Haymarket Hotel London.


Cultural cities – 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 (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.

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

Contact Theatre, Manchester - extension and re-modelling (Sheppard Robson for Contact Theatre)


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

Gloucester 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)

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)


Science Cities – healthcare

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?

UCLH Phase 5 – Pilbrow & Partners for University College Hospital London

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.

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

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


Hotels/net zero

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?

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

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

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


Sports and performance stadiums, community, and regeneration

How can sports stadiums become less fortress-like and welcome in the community for social wellbeing and entertainment– beyond match days? How can they provide a spotlight for the prowess of UK sport through hosting major tournaments? Do they lead to regeneration in the districts in which they are placed?

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

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

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


Future workspace

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?

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

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

Sony Music KX

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


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?

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

Newcastle City Council / LDA Design – City Centre place-making (announced 2021 to complete 2024)

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)


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