Art & Culture
A space in common…new design competition for the Royal Docks launched!
The Royal Docks Team (RDT) and the London Festival of Architecture (LFA) have this week launched the fourth round of the Pews and Perches design competition, with a call out to architecture students and practitioners, to design and deliver a series of benches across the Royal Docks, inspired by this year’s LFA theme of ‘In Common’.
Now in its fourth year, the Pews and Perches competition has enabled architecture students, recent graduates, emerging practitioners and teams to showcase their imagination and talent - with a series of striking benches (that have been inspired by the unique spaces that encompass the Royal Docks!) installed across the area.
Pews and Perches is a brilliant competition bringing a burst of colour and a spot for people to sit and enjoy the spectacular views around the Royal Docks
Deputy Mayor for Culture & the Creative Industries, Justine Simons OBE
This year’s LFA theme of ‘In Common’ seeks architectural proposals that respond to the ways in which communities share experiences and resources, including the public realm and public spaces. What do people have in common (or not) when they gather in and use public spaces; how inclusive are these spaces and how diverse are the users and communities in the Royal Docks, are two key considerations. Similarly, is there adequate public seating provision for the needs of all the community the Royal Docks?
This year, five benches will be installed; four selected from this design competition (which is open to all) with the fifth bench being designed by a student team from UTC college in the Royal Docks, mentored by previous competition winner, Andre Kong.
The Royal Docks locations below have been identified for this year’s round of the design competition, subject to final landowner approval. All areas offer significant scope for public realm enhancement or seating provision:
- Royal Victoria Dock Floating Garden (in addition to What A Water Waste! bench from 2023).
- Lyle Park
- The Factory Project, Factory Rd, London E16 2HB
- Royal Albert Wharf
- London Design & Engineering UTC College (to be designed by students from UTC)
Deputy Mayor for Culture & the Creative Industries, Justine Simons OBE, said:
“Pews and Perches is a brilliant competition bringing a burst of colour and a spot for people to sit and enjoy the spectacular views around the Royal Docks. Encouraging people to come together through design and use the capital’s public spaces, projects like this help us to build a better London for everyone.”
Rosa Rogina, Director of the London Festival of Architecture, said:
“We’re thrilled to be working with the Royal Docks on our fourth Pews and Perches competition, inviting emerging architects and designers to contribute to the public realm and celebrate the ways in which it is used as a space to gather and share resources. The LFA’s mission is to democratise architecture and discover new talent, and we’re very grateful to the Royal Docks for sharing that vision.”
Previous bench winners such as these amazing designs in 2020 highlight the transformative impact of small-scale interventions in the public realm and offers visitors and residents alike unique spaces to sit and make the most of public spaces and the waterside in the Royal Docks.
Interested applicants are invited to submit their proposal by midday on 24 November 2022. The winners will each be awarded £2,100 including a design fee of £500 to develop, build and install their bench in summer 2023. Each bench will stay in place until at least summer 2024.
For more information on the competition and how to submit, please download a copy of the brief here.
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