In the spirit of remembrance The RIBA initiative Forgotten Spaces 2011 has shortlisted sites in London and Sheffield which may be exhumed, reimagined and hopefully remembered.
The Firepits, a project by Studio 3 and Hawkins Brown, in Crystal Palace aims to commemorate the cremation of Crystal Palace, home of the 1851 Great Exhibition which was lost to fire in 1936.
Its designers have also been inspired by an evocation of ‘the hedonism of the outdoor barbeques’ at Djeemaa el Fna square in Marrakech which could conjure an international celebration of food and music, the RIBA says.
Sounds great, but imagine how that will look from the top deck of a 363 – literally hellish, and a bit like this presumably.
Elsewhere in London, Brunel Cafe by Aurelie Pot proposes to open up the south facing pillar of the Thames’ Hungerford and Golden Jubilee Bridges making a cafe on its plateau.
Further London proposals include artist inhabited church spires across the City, climbing tunnels in Clapham and making event spaces of Bethnal Green tower blocks.
Sheffield may have its own hellish beacon – a giant golden flame floating down the city’s canals, its own version of the Holywood sign, a shower block for urban potholers and an urban beach in a city centre carpark.
London judge and partner of Marks Barfield architects Julia Barfield describes the whole exercise as ‘a great provocation for everyone to think about the use of space in their local area. The challenge now is to realise at least one.’
A winner will be announced on 26 September for Forgotten Spaces Sheffield followed by the winner of the London competition on 19 October at Somerset House where an accompanying exhibition showing models and impressions of other shortlisted entries will open to the public.
There is no guarantee that the winning or shortlisted ideas will be fully developed but it is hoped that outside investment will lead to some being realised.