Forgotten Spaces registration deadline is extended, workshop events announced

Due to popular demand, the Royal Institute of British Architects have extended the deadline for registration for Forgotten Spaces until 25th April, giving hundreds of people the chance to win top prizes of £5,000, £2,000 or £1,000, as well as the opportunity to exhibit their work in a public exhibition in the autumn and be published in the Architect’s Journal.

RTPI London is working with RIBA London to encourage engagement of planners in London in the competition process as part of multidisciplinary teams.

Open to all members of the public residing in the UK, the initiative seeks out redundant and neglected spaces across Greater London and Preston, inviting design proposals from locals and professionals for re-use and adaptation in these cities. The 2013 competition will give entrants the option to select their own forgotten space, or consider specific sites put forward by London Borough planning departments and Preston City Council that have been earmarked for redevelopment and improvement.

A ‘forgotten space’ could be small or large – an empty unit, a scrubland, a derelict building or underpass or flyover. The proposal could be simple or complex, commercial or public, a piece of public art or a new building, the main requirement is that it responds to the local area and serves a function for the community. Designers are encouraged to engage and work with local groups and residents where possible.*

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “London is jam-packed full of interesting nooks and crannies with enormous potential for regeneration. Whether the idea is for a small pocket park on a piece of scrubland or to create a new business hub in a derelict building, we want to encourage innovative ideas rooted in local communities that aspire to the highest possible design standard.”

Councillor Peter Rankin, Leader of Preston City Council said:  “Preston has some fantastic development opportunities and this a great chance for architects to explore Preston’s forgotten spaces and view it from a different perspective, providing inspiration to developers, fellow architects and the people of Preston alike.  

“We look forward to the seeing the entries and the final selection which will be displayed as an exhibition later in the year.”

The competition will award generous cash prizes to the best schemes in each city: First prize will receive £5,000, second prize £2,000 and third prize £1,000.

Open to RIBA, RTPI and Landscape Institute members, as well as students, artists, members of the public and community groups across the UK, the competition creates a broad platform for discussion across all age groups and disciplines.

* RIBA London is running two workshops for local residents and design professionals to explore the selected sites in Hammersmith and Fulham and Enfield, giving attendees a chance to share thoughts and proposals for place making in context to the Forgotten Spaces competition brief. These free events will take place in Hammersmith on Thursday 11 April 2.30pm – 5pm and in Enfield on Tuesday 23 April 2.30pm- 5pm. Booking details are available from

*RIBA North West, UCLan (University of Central Lancashire) and Preston City Council have organised a special workshop which will help participants taking part in the competition put the brief in context and discuss possible solutions to the neglected spaces they have identified. This free event will take place at UCLan on Saturday 13th April. Full details can be found at and advance booking is required.

The best London proposals will be showcased in a public exhibition at Somerset House, London, in October 2013, allowing locals and people from all over the country and visitors from further afield to view the proposals, whilst providing design professionals and communities with a fantastic platform to exhibit their skills and insight.

RIBA president, Angela Brady said:Forgotten Spaces provides a fantastic opportunity for architects and designers to lead regeneration by seeking out and improving an ‘eyesore’ in their local area. These inspired ideas will be shared with a public audience, including local authorities, investors and developers. It forms a test bed for ideas for those ‘left over spaces’ and shows what our towns and cities could look like with a little bit of inspiration.”

RIBA London will announce the competition winners and award cash prizes with sponsors Qatari Diar and Ordnance Survey at the exhibition launch event in October at Somerset House.

Competition registration deadline has been extended to Thursday 25th April 2013 with the competition closing for entries on Thursday 9th May 2013.

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