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Author Topic: NR/RIBA competiton "Re-Imagining Railway Stations: Connecting Communities"  (Read 291 times)
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« on: July 15, 2020, 02:51:38 pm »

You may remember a joint Network Rail and RIBA competition to design station footbridges. (I wonder - did the results ever get built for real?) They have now announced a similar competition for smaller stations:
Re-Imagining Railway Stations: Connecting Communities

International competition to shape the future of Britain’s railway stations.
    (closing date) 15 September 2020, 14:00

The competition will provide architects, engineers and designers the chance to improve the travel experience for the millions of passengers who use Britain’s railway, and leave a lasting legacy on station design.

It asks designers to reimagine small to medium-sized stations – which make up 80% of all those on Britain’s railway – so they can better serve the needs of both passengers and their local communities.

The competition encourages entries which stimulate creativity and address the changing character of our society.

In developing proposals, entrants are encouraged to consider how future stations can be sustainable and deliver outstanding value, whilst considering the impact on the environment to achieve net zero emissions to leave a positive legacy for future generations.

Anthony Dewar, Head of Buildings and Architecture at Network Rail, said:

“Fostering creativity and developing an outward-looking, collaborative culture is a key priority for Network Rail, so I’m delighted we are hosting this competition, which gives designers a unique opportunity to leave a lasting legacy on our railway and improve the journeys of millions of passengers through quality design.

“Our ambition is to raise the quality of design across the whole rail network as well as responding to the evolving role of infrastructure within communities.

“We’re looking forward to welcoming creative and forward-thinking designs which will help us better serve the communities and passengers who rely on our railway.”

Across Britain, there are more than 2,000 small-to-medium stations which vary greatly in terms of design quality and amenities. By improving the overall quality of stations, they can better serve their communities, whilst accommodating potential enhancements to the existing and future passenger experience through good design. Designs should be considered for the adaption of existing stations to better meet passenger requirements, or new-build stations to accommodate the projected increase in demand for rail travel.

The competition is open internationally to individuals and teams from both small and large organisations from the design, built environment and manufacturing industries.

The competition will be organised in three phases, with the first phase involving the anonymous submission of design proposals. Up to six entrants will be invited to phase two each receiving an honoraria of £20,000 + VAT. In the final phase, up to three entrants will be invited to enter into a services contract to develop their design solutions further with a contract sum of up to £250,000 awarded to each (subject to negotiation).

There's a lot more detail on the competition's own website.

So prepare yourselves for some innovative and imaginative ...  vocabulary.
Robin Summerhill
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« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2020, 03:26:09 pm »

John Betjamin is probably getting ready to turn in his grave...
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« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2020, 04:25:05 pm »

There are several supporting documents on or linked from the competition web site, including two picture books by photographer Luke O'Donovan. The one done for this competition, "HUB Making places for people and trains", is described as:
A study of standardised railway stations around Britain, commissioned by Network Rail. Foreword Sir Simon Jenkins Text Dr David Lawrence Original Photography Luke O'Donovan Graphic Design Alex Holden

The second, also on 'issuu', was done for the previous competition: "LINK - A study of Network Rail footbridges"
A photographic study of 100 footbridges on the British railway Network. Photography and captions Luke O'Donovan Introduction David Lawrence Graphic Design Alex Holden Commissioned by Network Rail, 2019

I suspect the second, in particular, will lead several of the professional photographers manqués of this forum to think "I wish I'd got that gig".

Incidentally, the first book says at the back "This publication is the first to use Network Rail's new font named Rail Alphabet 2. ..." I'd not heard about that, and can't find anything elsewhere.
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« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2020, 06:29:51 pm »

There is another (better?) reason to run a competition like this, namely to see if someone can come up with a workable modular design that can be rolled out for many projects to (hopefully) reduce the enormous cost of projects in future.  It would though mean the planning and architecture establishments changing some of their entrenched attitudes to building design and project delivery.
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