Executive director of Bradford 2025 Dan Bates said sustainability is key. Credit: Tim Smith

Architect shortlist named for Bradford Beacon

Five proposals are in the running in a RIBA competition to design the temporary touring venue, which will be part of the Bradford 2025 UK City of Culture year.

Beacon is intended as a platform for performances, installations, and live events across the district during 2025, providing a venue where there may not ordinarily be a traditional space for artists, organisations and audiences to congregate.

The competition, announced at the start of June, attracted international interest from Mexico, the US, India and Australia as well as the UK and Europe.

The judging panel, consisting of Bradford 2025 and RIBA representatives, were delighted by the level of thought and exciting collaborations demonstrated by all applicants at this early stage of the competition process.

Following evaluation of the expression of interest responses, a shortlist of five has been selected to take part in the design phase of the competition.

The shortlist is:

  • APPARATA Architects with Arinjoy Sen and Structure Workshop
  • Carter Gregson Gray with Structure Workshop, Studio 4215 & Studio Three Sixty
  • GWP Architecture Ltd + FAUM Architecture with EMPACE and Bradford Moor Pass
  • IF Design Office Ltd with Street Space Community CIC and Simple Works TLD
  • New Practice with Common Wealth and Reeves & Bond

Dan Bates, executive director of Bradford 2025, said “Bradford’s ambitions for UK City of Culture has always included the desire to increase and expand the world’s view of Bradford, dialling up how we’re seen, and it’s been brilliant to see that through the design submission process we’ve attracted so much international interest.

“The focus on sustainability and inclusivity has been central to all the responses and I’m looking forward to seeing the outcome of the design phase of the competition in the coming months.”

Tumpa Husna Yasmin Fellows, co-founder and director of Our Building Design and RIBA architect adviser for the competition said: “This open call, inviting expressions of interest for Beacon competition, has attracted responses from teams that formed interesting collaborations and proposed diverse methods and approaches for the design of Beacon.

“We are looking forward to the design phase, working with the teams to unpack the stories that connect with and to celebrate Bradford’s cultural heritage and cosmopolitan communities.

“This design opportunity intends to increase awareness in the local heritage and the global connections with Bradford, by facilitating the access to the arts through the lens of decolonial or an expanded architecture and design practice, addressing spatial justice and climate crisis.”

The shortlisted teams will present their concept design proposals to the evaluation panel in September 2023.

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