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Opportunities Hub: Enter the contests that get you noticed

Words:
Julie Butterworth

Bid to be one of six to join a new four-year Somerset and Wiltshire framework, revitalise an historic East of England city centre or help tell the tale of Cornwall. These are some of the latest architecture contracts and competitions from across the industry

For updates on the latest competitions, contests and contracts follow us on twitter #ribajopportunites @RIBAJ

 

Bath, Somerset, looking south-east towards St John the Evangelist Roman Catholic church.
Bath, Somerset, looking south-east towards St John the Evangelist Roman Catholic church. Credit: PJ photography / Shutterstock

Contract

ARCHITECTURAL SERVICES FRAMEWORK

South-west England unitary authority seeks six partners for £6m, 4-year succession agreement

Bath and North East Somerset Council is establishing a multi-provider framework for architectural services procured via an open procedure. The unitary authority stretches from the outskirts of Bristol, south into the Mendip Hills and east to the southern Cotswold Hills and border of Wiltshire. The city of Bath, which developed as a spa resort in Georgian times, holds World Heritage City status and the council has over 1,150 property assets, 448 listed buildings and six Scheduled Ancient Monuments. Envisaged number of participants to the frameworks is six. According to the brief, types of work will include internal and external refurbishment of listed/conservation area buildings (including void and dilapidated buildings), adaptations, interior design associated with re-use and refurbishment, masterplanning (including public realm and highways), change of use, including residential, commercial property, office interior design, extensions and new-builds. The new agreement will replace the authority’s current Architectural Design Services Framework, which expires in spring this year. This next-generation framework will act as a standalone agreement and complement the council’s other current design and construction frameworks. Although drawn up as central purchasing body for the council itself, according to the brief, the framework is also ‘open to other public sector organisations operating in part or in whole within the geographical district of the West of England Combined Authority or immediate environs (including Wiltshire)’.

 

Contractor selection will be via mini competition or direct appointment for one-off works under £30,000. Evaluation criteria: 70 per cent quality; 30 per cent price. Anticipated annual spend, £1 million to £1.5 million; average call-off value, £50,000 to £200,000; construction project values, £50,000 to £5 million. Estimated value of the framework agreement is £6 million.

Procedure Open procedure.

Location Bath, North East Somerset, plus West of England Combined Authority environs.

Deadlines and dates Closing date for receipt of tenders, 12 noon, 13 March 2024. Award decisions (6 suppliers), 1 April 2024. Framework commences, 15 April 2024.

To apply or find out more, see the contract notice

Buyer contact Olivia Clements, Bath and North East Somerset Council, Olivia_Clements@bathnes.gov.uk


 

Cambridge Market Square.
Cambridge Market Square. Credit: Pajor Pawel / Shutterstock

Contract

CAMBRIDGE CIVIC QUARTER

Development consortium sought for £1.25m reappraisal of city’s Guildhall, Corn Exchange and Market Square

Cambridge City Council is looking for a development consultancy consortium to develop proposals for the city’s Civic Quarter. Bidding teams are required to draw up design services to RIBA stage 2 for refurbishment and improvements across three main assets: the grade II listed Guildhall on Corn Exchange Street, the Corn Exchange music venue on Wheeler Street and Market Square, which is located on Market Hill. Teams will need to include a commercial adviser, architect, heritage and landscape/public realm consultants, principal designer and other disciplines. The tender consists of two lots: Lot 1 covers The Guildhall, Market Square and Corn Exchange; Lot 2, the Guildhall and Market Square only. Bidders must bid for both lots and a single winning consortium will be selected. Following submissions, the council will decide whether to progress with Lot 1 or Lot 2. According to the brief, proposals are required to ‘maximise valuable commercial use, including office and civic functions (Guildhall), music venue (Corn Exchange) and the Market [and] include a review of long-term operating costs as part of the evaluation and options appraisal’. If the client decides to go ahead (decision expected November 2024), development work will proceed to RIBA stage 3. Bidders are requested to provide fees for RIBA stages 3 to 6 (to handover) to avoid the need to re-procure.

 

Mandatory requirements for the consortium include prior experience of commercialising and re-modelling civic and/or heritage buildings to current sustainability or Net Zero carbon design standards. This is a three-and-a-half-year contract. Evaluation criteria: 70 per cent quality; 30 per cent price. Budget for development services to RIBA stage 2, Lot 2, is £1.25 million. The budget for Lot 1 may be reduced.

Procedure Open procedure.

Location Cambridge.

Deadlines and dates Closing date for receipt of tenders, 12 noon, 21 March 2024. Scored interviews for shortlisted tenderers, week of 8 April 2024. Award of contract, week of 22 April 2024. Contract dates, 1 July 2024 to 31 December 2027.

To apply or find out more, see the contract notice

Buyer contact Jonathan Loneza, Cambridge City Council, 07718 664779, jonathan.loneza@cambridge.gov.uk


 

Royal Cornwall Museum in the old town of Truro, Cornwall's county town, single city and centre for administration and commerce.
Royal Cornwall Museum in the old town of Truro, Cornwall's county town, single city and centre for administration and commerce. Credit: Lucian Milasan/ Shutterstock

Contract

ROYAL MUSEUM OF CORNWALL, DESIGN & BUILD TENDER

Principal design team sought for history and natural history gallery spaces

The Royal Institution of Cornwall is looking to appoint a principal design team to work on the Heart of Cornwall and Nature galleries at the Royal Museum of Cornwall in Truro. The community-focused museum, art gallery and archive has a total of nine galleries and holds around 1 million significant objects  from Cornwall’s history, natural environment and art. It is located on River Street in Truro city centre. The appointed team will be responsible for the creation of two significant long-term exhibition redisplays and is expected to carry out the detailed design from RIBA stage 1 (for sign off by the client) to stage 6, plus contract administration, cost control, project management for the build element. The Heart of Cornwall Gallery will be located in the main gallery space; the Nature Gallery in the Bonython Gallery space where an existing natural history exhibition is currently on show. The expected lifespan of the two exhibitions is ten to 15 years. According to the brief, the focus will be on ‘transforming our museum; its sustainability, the physical spaces, the visitor experience and audience engagement. By 2026 the Royal Cornwall Museum will have become a compelling visitor destination, a vibrant, thriving multi-arts community hub. It will attract over 60,000 visitors a year and all its activities will be underpinned by a robust, agile and sustainable operating model’. 

 

This fully funded project forms Phase 3 of a four-phase transformation of the museum. Funding permitting, Phase 4 will include the development of the upper floor galleries and enhancement of commercial areas. The whole project is expected to complete in spring 2027. Evaluation criteria: 70 per cent quality; 25 per cent price; 5 per cent social value. Value of contract is £800,000 to £1 million.

Procedure Open procedure.

Location Truro, Cornwall.

Deadlines and dates Closing date for receipt of tenders, 12 noon, 8 March 2024. Award of contract, 29 March 2024. Contract dates, 31 March 2024 to 31 December 2024.

To apply or find out more, see the contract notice

Buyer contact Jackie George, transformation project lead, Royal Cornwall Museum, 07930 004593, jackie@jackiegeorge.co.uk


 

University of Strathclyde in Glasgow city centre.
University of Strathclyde in Glasgow city centre. Credit: chrisdorney / iStock

Contract

ARCHITECT, UNIVERSITY OF STRATHCLYDE

Lead and principal designer sought for £18m Charles Huang innovation and entrepreneurship hub

The University of Strathclyde is looking for an architect to lead the construction of its Charles Huang Advanced Technology & Innovation Centre (CH-ATIC), including services from RIBA stage 0 to 7. The appointed consultant will act as lead designer, architect and principal designer. The university is located in Glasgow city centre and has a 16,000-strong full-time student body. Charles Huang is founder and chairman of Pasaca Capital, a US private equity firm that invests in innovative technologies and products. He gained his MBA from the University of Strathclyde in 1989 and his PhD in Marketing in 1994. According to the brief, CH-ATIC will be an eight-floor, 5,535 sqm ‘state-of-the-art entrepreneurship hub [and part of] one of the UK’s most dynamic and successful ecosystems for the creation of high potential innovation-driven enterprise’. The centre is expected to link with Glasgow’s wider innovation district, support local start-ups and SMEs and connect with local communities and public bodies, enabling ‘the translation of disruptive technologies and innovative solutions into viable and socially responsible businesses, products and services’. Objectives include maximising working space within the building with open, inclusive spaces for multiple cluster groups and organisations alongside collaborative areas; creating a welcome entrance with a new front facade and internal reception area; and refurbishing the existing building ‘as close to EnerPHit standard as possible’.

 

This is a four-year contract and construction will follow a two-stage design and build arrangement with a contractor appointed at stage 3/4. Evaluation criteria (ITT stage): 60 per cent price; 40 per cent quality. Further details regarding scope will be released at the ITT stage. Maximum build cost is £18 million.

Procedure Restricted procedure: pre-qualification questionnaires followed by invitations to tender (six candidates).

Location Glasgow, Scotland.

Deadlines and dates Closing date for receipt of pre-qualification questionnaires, 12 noon, 4 March 2024. Dispatch of invitations to tender (six candidates), 28 March 2024. Tender returns, 29 April 2024. Award of contract, 27 May 2024.

To apply or find out more, see the contract notice

Buyer contact Kenneth Carlin, category manager, University of Strathclyde, kenneth.carlin@strath.ac.uk


 

Bessie Surtees House on Sandhill near the Tyne Bridge in Newcastle. A rare example of Jacobean domestic architecture, it is the headquarters of Historic England North East & Yorkshire.
Bessie Surtees House on Sandhill near the Tyne Bridge in Newcastle. A rare example of Jacobean domestic architecture, it is the headquarters of Historic England North East & Yorkshire. Credit: KerrysWorld / Shutterstock

Contract

HISTORIC ENGLAND FRAMEWORK

Three-year architectural and principal design services agreement covers historically significant estate

Government body Historic England (HE) is setting up a framework for its commissioning of architectural, surveying, principal designer and lead professional services across its landmark estate. HE’s role is to champion historic places, identify and protect heritage and provide local expertise. It manages the National Heritage List for England, which includes over 400,000 items ranging from prehistoric monuments to office blocks, battlefields and parks. The three-year agreement is split into two lots. Lot 1 covers real estate assets in the North & Midlands: its York, Newcastle and Manchester offices, plus Baguley Hall in Manchester and Shrewsbury Flax Maltings in Shrophsire. Lot 2 covers the South West, South East & London: offices in Bristol, Swindon, Cambridge and London, plus Fort Cumberland in Portsmouth and Bow Hill Manor in Exeter. According to HE’s property details spec, the grade I listed Jacobean Bessie Surtees House in Newcastle is one of two Historic England North East & Yorkshire offices. Fourteenth-century, grade I listed Baguley Hall in Wythenshawe and Fort Cumberland in Southsea, a grade II* listed Scheduled Ancient Monument that is home to HE’s archaeological and scientific research teams and has a small crafts hub, are both being reviewed for potential future use, while grade I listed Shrewsbury Flaxmill Maltings is subject to a current regeneration programme.

 

There is an option to extend contracts for a further year. Evaluation criteria: 55 per cent quality; 35 per cent price; 10 per cent social value. Estimated value of contracts is £450,000 for each lot. HE has not specified how many suppliers it is looking to list for each lot.

Procedure Restricted procedure: selection questionnaires followed by invitations to tender (number of candidates not specified).

Locations Multiple across England.

Deadlines and dates Closing date for receipt of selection questionnaires, extended to 12 noon, 29 February 2024. Dispatch of invitations to tender (number of suppliers not specified), 29 February 2024. Return of tenders, 25 March 2024. Start of commission, 16 April 2024. Completion, 16 April 2027.

To apply or find out more, see the contract notice

Buyer contact David Webb, Historic England, david.webb@historicengland.org.uk


 

The Western Cleddau at Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire. The 23ha development site lies on the northern edge of the town.
The Western Cleddau at Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire. The 23ha development site lies on the northern edge of the town. Credit: tornadoflight / Shutterstock

Contract

MASTERPLAN AND DESIGN CODE, HAVERFORDWEST SLADE LANE SITE

Lead consultant sought for development of 23ha Welsh government-owned land earmarked for housing

The Welsh government (WG) is looking to appoint a lead consultant to design, masterplan and develop a site at Slade Lane in Haverfordwest, south west Wales for sustainable and affordable homes. Haverfordwest is an ancient market town and the administrative centre of Pembrokeshire. It lies nine miles north east of Milford Haven and is known for its 12th-century castle, the remains of an Augustinian priory and the picturesque Western Cleddau river, which runs through the town. In partnership with Pobl Homes and Communities, WG bought the land in March 2023 from developer Conygar, following ongoing delays with the development of the site, which has been allocated for residential development since around 2019. Proposals must ensure that half the residential buildings are affordable homes and all new homes are as sustainable and energy efficient as possible. Social value and public benefits must also be demonstrated. The successful bidder will need to submit an outline planning application on the WG’s behalf, after which it will look for a development partner to deliver the site. According to the brief, the site, which is split up into different parcels of land, is ‘strategically important and has been undeveloped for some considerable time. It is therefore critical that [it] is correctly master-planned and delivered at pace.'

 

'With its position so close to the town centre with excellent opportunities for active travel, we are looking for something special from our consulting team. This is not a run of the mill commission; this development will have an impact on the town and surrounding area. The successful consultants will need to demonstrate that they can see, and are bought into, the vision for what can and should be delivered on this site’. Budget is up to £1 million (including masterplanning, securing planning permission and early capital infrastructure). Evaluation criteria: 70 per cent quality; 30 per cent price. The three-year contract is valued at £500,000.

Procedure Open procedure.

Location Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire, Wales.

Deadlines and dates Extended closing date for receipt of tenders, 5pm, 28 February 2024. Award of contract, April 2024.

To apply or find out more, see the contract notice

Buyer contact Welsh Government, 0300 025 7095, tenders.landdivision@gov.wales


 

The Davidson Prize 2024.
The Davidson Prize 2024. Credit: © Theia Flynn

Ideas competition

2024 DAVIDSON PRIZE

Fourth edition of the annual ideas competition launches with ‘Rethinking Home - Adapt and Reuse’ theme and prize fund of £25k

The Alan Davidson Foundation has published the brief for the 2024 edition of its annual Davidson Prize ‘Rethinking Home - Adapt and Reuse’. Organisers are asking collaborative teams to put forward new solutions that tackle the dual issues of climate change and the housing shortage through the reinvention of existing infrastructure, environmental retrofit and the use of sustainable and biomaterials. The brief cites bold projects including Lacaton & Vassal’s Tour Bois-le-Prêtre in Paris, Le Magasin Électrique in Arles by Assemble and BC Architects, and Lendager’s Resource Rows in Copenhagen as inspirational examples. According to the brief, entries will need to ‘explore inventive and compelling design ideas to persuade renters and buyers that an ideal home might not be detached… or surrounded by a white picket fence - but will be an exciting new product of upcycling, recycling, mining and creative reuse that reimagines traditional ideas of home and ways of living. Because housing shortage is most keenly felt by… Gen Z and Millennials… we’re asking you to engage particularly with the housing ideals of people in their early 20s to early 40s’. Entrants can choose any existing non-residential structure/s in the UK or Ireland and ‘explore how it could be upcycled, retrofitted and/or mined to provide exemplary sustainable housing for a minimum of five homes’. The Davidson Prize is an annual ideas competition that rewards transformative architecture of the home. The prize exists to celebrate innovative design ideas, to encourage multidisciplinary collaboration and to promote compelling visual communication. It is named after Alan Davidson, founder of the UK’s first CGI-based visualisation studio focused on architecture, Hayes Davidson. He died in August 2018.

 

Prizes Honorarium of £5,000 for each (of 3) shortlisted team, plus £10,000 for winner. The Davidson Prize is also running a People’s Choice Prize. The public can vote for their favourite project from the 2024 longlist.

Eligibility Open to multidisciplinary creative teams that must each include an architect registered with ARB (UK) or RIAI (Eire). All entrants are required to register (see deadlines, below).

Procedure Two-stage competition: design submission followed by shortlist, longlist and second design stage.

Submission requirements Stage 1: marketing billboard; 3 images; submission form; team profile; 250-word statement; 3 short bullets on Stage 2 development. Stage 2: 2-minute promotional film; 3 hero images; 15-second Instagram teaser film of promotional film. Three finalists: 10-minute presentation and Q&A. See the competition brief for full details.

Jury panel Amandeep Singh Kalra, Be First (Chair); Duncan Campbell, Atelier Ten; Alice Finney, Elle Decoration UK; Miles Mitchell, Total Synergy (sponsor); Annalie Riches, Mikhail Riches; Alex Turner, Studio MUTT (winner of the 2023 Davidson Prize).

Deadlines Register by 6pm, 1 February 2024. Stage 1 submissions, 6pm, 29 February 2024 followed by longlist announcement. Stage 2 shortlist (3 teams) announced, April 2024. Stage 2 submissions, 6pm, 14 May 2024. Presentations and winner announcement, June 2024.

To enter or find out more, go to the competition website

Competition contact hello@thedavidsonprize.com


 

War memorial and market stalls in the centre of Launceston, Cornwall, 2022. The former Barclays bank is on the right.
War memorial and market stalls in the centre of Launceston, Cornwall, 2022. The former Barclays bank is on the right. Credit: Nigel Jarvis / Shutterstock

Contract

LAUNCESTON LIBRARY DESIGN CONCEPT

Cornish local authority seeks architect-led team to turn grade II listed former bank into information hub

Launceston Town Council is looking to recruit a team to design a concept for the conversion of a former Barclays high street bank into a community library and information hub. The ancient market town is known as the gateway to Cornwall, for its castle remains, which date from the 11th century, and its heritage narrow-gauge steam railway. The four-storey listed property, which was built around 1870, occupies a prominent position on Launceston town square at 6 Broad Street. It closed as a bank in January 2022 and has remained empty since. Late last year the building was purchased by the town council in collaboration with Cornwall Council. The newly converted premises will need to include a full adult and children’s library, a registrar service and office space. According to the brief, the appointed team will be required to ‘undertake concept design meetings with residents and library users to ensure full consideration of user needs and input following an agreed methodology’. Other identified ‘deliverables’ include specifying and working to applicable RIBA contracts and including all planning consents, permissions and costings. Value of this five-month contract is £50,000 to £75,000. Evaluation criteria: 80 per cent quality; 20 per cent cost. Bidders are requested to submit quotations anonymously via the email address below.

 

Procedure Open procedure.

Location Launceston, Cornwall.

Deadlines and dates Closing date for receipt of tenders, 12 noon 28 February 2024. Award of contract, 8 March 2024. Contract dates, 11 March 2024 to 5 August 2024.

To apply or find out more, see the contract notice

Buyer contact Christopher Drake, Launceston Town Council, 01566 773693, chris@launceston-tc.gov.uk


 

Winter landscape at Lake Mývatn, northern Iceland.
Winter landscape at Lake Mývatn, northern Iceland. Credit: stockphoto52 / iStock

Project competition

ICELAND SKI SNOW CABIN

Design a warm and inviting pit stop for skiers that contributes to an amazing Icelandic landscape

Competition organiser Buildner has launched a contest inviting architects and designers to create a small-scale haven for the skiing community at a site in Iceland’s Mývatn region. Iceland is Europe's most sparsely populated nation and lies between the North Atlantic and the Arctic Ocean. Its population of less than 333,000 is mostly resident in the capital Reykjavik and its surrounding areas. Known as the Northern Lights capital, the Mývatn region has breathtaking natural wonders, including the Krafla caldera and the volcanic Lake Mývatn, as well as the Diamond Circle travel route. The competition site is north east of the lake, close to the Víti crater and a popular skiing slope. ‘This contest is not just about building a structure,’ says the brief, ‘it's about crafting an experience that embodies the spirit of Icelandic winters… [the] structure should blend functionality with the enchanting Icelandic aesthetic, providing facilities that cater to comfort and practical needs, while also framing the stunning vistas of the surrounding environment.’ Designs need to include a rest and warmth area, equipment check and tuning station, self-service refreshment area, plus viewing deck, toilets and washrooms, storage and ‘snow groomer garage’. According to the brief, ‘the client has expressed their intention to construct the winning design, offering an extraordinary chance for architects to see their skiing cabin concept materialise’.

Eligibility Competition is open to all. No professional qualification is required. Design proposals can be developed individually or by teams (four team members maximum).

Requirements Four A2 landscape-orientated presentation boards (must not exceed 10MB per board) with sketches, renderings, plans, sections, elevations, diagrams and/or other presentation tools (no video) to explain the proposal.

Prizes 1st prize, €5,000; 2nd prize, €2,500; 3rd prize, €1,000; Student Award, €1,000; Sustainability Award, €500.

Registration fees From €85 (students, from €80).

Judging panel Includes Marshall Blecher, MAST; Francisco Garcia de Freitas, Atelier RUA – Arquitectos; Anne Cecilie Haug, Snøhetta; Borghildur Indriðadóttir, Artist on the Moon; Hildur Isdal, Plusark; Søren Leth, SLETH; Tom Schroeder, Patkau Architects; Sigrún Sumarliðadóttir, Studio BUA.

Deadlines and dates Registration, 17 April 2024. Submissions, 11.59pm, 29 May 2024. Winners announced, 3 July 2024.

To apply or find out more, go the competition website

Competition contact contact@buildner.com


 

The Microhome Kingspan edition: 'An opportunity to contribute to the evolution of residential architecture'.
The Microhome Kingspan edition: 'An opportunity to contribute to the evolution of residential architecture'.

Ideas competition

KINGSPAN MICROHOME CONTEST

Buildner launches seventh edition of its international competition looking for radical designs for off-grid small scale architecture

Competition organiser Buildner, in partnership with online platform ArchDaily, is calling for innovative housing ideas that will ‘propel the micro home from a mere architectural form to a revolutionary genre in its own right’. Sponsored by Kingspan, the organisers are asking entrants to design an off-grid home for a young professional couple with a maximum floor area of  25m2. The home can be located anywhere. ‘The competition challenges participants to radically rethink spatial organisation, to introduce distinctive aesthetics and to implement state-of-the-art technologies and materials.’ According to the brief, ‘designs that prioritise sustainability and present solutions to economic, social and cultural challenges through fresh architectural methods will receive preference’. Registration deadline is 29 April 2024.

Ijmuiden, Netherlands. The Tiny House movement offers a return to a simpler life, where people choose to live with less.
Ijmuiden, Netherlands. The Tiny House movement offers a return to a simpler life, where people choose to live with less. Credit: Erik Laan / Shutterstock

Eligibility The competition is open to all. No professional qualification is required. Design proposals can be developed individually or by teams (four team members maximum).

Procedure ‘Participants are required to upload four A2 landscape-orientated presentation boards (board must not exceed 10MB per jpg) with sketches, renderings, plans, sections, elevations, diagrams and/or other presentation tools to explain their proposal.’ See the brief for full details.

Prizes First, €40,000. Second, €20,000. Third, £10,000. Student Award, €10,000. Sustainabilitiy Award, €10,000. Kingspan Award (designs must use at least one specified Kingspan product), €40,000, plus four €5,000 ‘Kingspan Compliments’. Note that one entry has the potential to win both the primary competition and the Kingspan Award.

Registration fees From €150 (students, from €130).

Jury panel Ben Van Berkel, UNStudio; Paolo Flores, Zaha Hadid Architects; Flora Lee, MAD Architects; Martina Martino, Mario Cucinella Architects; Silvana Ordinas, Peter Pichler Architecture; Carlo Ratii, MIT Senseable City Lab; Brent Trenga, Kingspan; David Basulto, ArchDaily.

Deadlines and dates Submissions by 11.59pm, 30 May 2024. Winners announced, 24 July 2024.

To apply or find out more, go the competition website

Competition contact contact@buildner.com


 

For updates on the latest competitions, contests and contracts follow #ribajopportunities @RIBAJ

If you have a competition or contest you want architects to know about, email details to julie.butterworth@riba.org


 

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