E:AJ CompNew Imagesbath 2 Layout1 (1)Aldwych Baths (Aldwych Station) by Charlotte Tamplin, Charlotte Marshall, Kate Stevens for Forgotten Spaces

When you pass an abandoned building, a discontinued subway station, or an empty lot, does your mind ever wander and imagine the possibilities with that space? Well, that is exactly what the 2013 Forgotten Spaces Competition in London aimed to do: find creative solutions to “forgotten spaces” around the city. A collaboration between the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), the Mayor of London, the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI), and the Landscape Institute, the competition invites designers to find innovative solutions to regenerate the spaces. The competition asks its competitors these following questions: How would you bring the area under a flyover to life? How could a disused car park be made beautiful? What potential lies in neglected parks, spaces under railways or on our rooftops?

Lost World-Forgotten Spaces-London-Competition-2
Lost World: A zoo complex in a decommissioned gas holder whose by-products, through anaerobic digestion, cyclically support the site and surroundings.

Showing from October 4th to November 10th at Somerset House, the exhibit features 26 of the best innovative solutions from the competition. In addition to the innovative ideas, the exhibit also shows completed regeneration projects across London.

For those who have not been to Somerset House before, the building itself is a beautifully designed marvel itself. Once you leave the busy, noisy Strand, all sounds disperse, replaced with the sound of the inner courtyard’s founding and students chatting over coffee.

Enter the building’s South Wing, follow a staircase down to the basement and you will find yourself in a “forgotten space” in Somerset House. Utilizing the hidden passageways and coal holes for the gallery in Somerset House, the walk through the exhibit itself comes a journey and is reflective of the competition’s aim to reuse and reinvent spaces.

One of our favorite submissions was the Aquadocks. Repurposing the Silvertown Way Underpath as a swimming pool and spa for the Royal Docks area, visitors can experience this project through its interactive exhibit that washing water reflected light over you as it plays a track of water splashing from children playing in the pool.

Aquadocks, submitted by Heather Lyons, Dara Huang, Soohyun Chang, Ryan Day, Remo de Angelis, Federica Russo, and Lisa Hinderdael

Other submissions include creating a zoo complex from decommissioned gas holders, an urban boardwalk (think The High Line), and the creation of a British Poster Museum. If you are in the London area this November, we highly recommend checking this exhibit out before it closes on the 10th!

In the Canopy-Forgotten Spaces-London-CompetitionIn The Canopy (Queen’s Park Estate) Mair. Inspired by traditional cherry picking ladders, these elevated chairs within London’s trees offer an escape from street level to the forgotten spaces of the tree canopy, to enjoy a different view of the city and reconnect with the child within. By Studio McLeod: Duncan McLeod, Sarah Edwards, Annikki 

Posters of Society-Forgotten Spaces-London-Competition-2Posters of Society (Silverton Parkway, London Borough of Newham)The structural concrete columns of the flyover are used to display 1000+ posters chronicling the history of the poster from original advertisements to 21st Century political propaganda. By Gary Nash and Barry Walsh

Silvertown Brewery-Forgotten Spaces-London-CompetitionSilvertown Brewery (Silvertown Way Flyover, London borough of Newham). The project creates a destination out of Silvertown rather than being a place of transit.  A microbrewery and bowling venue are introduced, extending London’s rapid resurgence into brewing and the world’s beer scene. By Chris Allen, Marcus Andren, Michael Gyi

RIBA Forgotten Spaces 2013
Goes until November 10th
Daily 10.00-18.00, until 21.00 on Thursday 7 November
Somerset House, Lightwells & Deadhouse, South Wing
Free admission
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