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Exhibition of Competition Submissions for the Mark House & Park Nightclub

21 Sep 10 An exhibition of the design proposals submitted to the first stage of the competition to redevelop the Mark House and Park Nightclub site are to be displayed in Whitehaven town centre.

The competition is being organised on behalf of Britain’s Energy Coast West Cumbria and Magnus Homes by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Competitions unit, with the support of Places Matter! the architecture centre for the Northwest.

The fantastic harbour-side setting presents a unique opportunity to continue the transformation of Whitehaven’s former working port, via a circa GBP £10m mixed-use development of luxury residential apartments and high quality office accommodation.

The 140schemes on display have been submitted in response to an open invitation to architect-led design teams and architectural students working towards their RIBA Part 3 qualification to develop initial design concepts for the site.

Speaking about the phenomenal response to the competition, Paul Crooks, Programme Manager (Commercial) at Britain’s Energy Coast West Cumbria, said: “We have been delighted with both the level of response and the quality of the designs that have been put forward so far for this prime area of Whitehaven’s harbour. We hope as many residents as possible come along to the exhibition and see for themselves the creative ideas which will go on to be judged and further developed. Britain’s Energy Coast West Cumbria is keen to see a design that demonstrates the town’s ambitions for the future, yet it both sympathetic and celebratory of its rich heritage.”

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The schemes will be on display at Unit 2, Pears House, Whitehaven Harbour from Wednesday 22nd September to Tuesday 28th September 2010 between 10.00a.m. and 4.00p.m. daily.   

Themes arising from the anonymous exhibition will be made available to the Judging Panel to help inform their decision 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 (Hodder + Partners, Manchester) acting as the RIBA Architect Adviser.

The second stage of the competition will involve a further exploration and refinement of the design proposals in response to feedback from the Judging Panel following the stage one judging.  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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