Young practices invited to help devise integrated solution for new sea defences

Portsmouth promenade
Portsmouth's existing promenade

Registered landscape architects, architects and engineers 40 years old or younger are invited to take part in an ‘elephant cage’; design research competition to help reinforce Portsmouth’s coastal defences.

The competition is a response to current proposed new coastal defences for Portsmouth, in particular a new sea wall along the southern edge of the town, which has been criticised for isolating the beach and promenade from the city and adjacent Southsea Common.

The ‘elephant cage’ format puts ‘big young beasts’ with older mentors, with the aim of eliciting fresh new ideas in a short, concentrated period of time. Teams will be asked to devise fresh proposals that will maintain the relationship between city and sea and also explore the opportunities for adding long-term value and benefits to the Portsmouth and Southsea area.

The event is being jointly promoted by procurement intelligence service Project Compass CIC, Dutch architecture network Architectuur Lokaal, and the University of Portsmouth School of Architecture.

Interested parties are invited to apply by 28 October, after which successful shortlisted entrants, will be invited to attend the elephant cage ideas workshops in Portsmouth from 23-26 November, and Netherlands for two days in March. Here they will work with a team of nine Dutch experts in the fields of architecture, engineering and landscape architecture, with three mentors from each country, supported by masters students. There will be a chance for all teams to present and critique the proposals, which will then be disseminated to local and national stakeholders.

According to the brief: ‘The aim is to achieve a better design synthesis between the coastal defences with landside public realm improvements that can enhance the environment, amenities and economy through better integration of the infrastructure.’

More information and entry details on the Project Compass website here.

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