Hopkins Architects win RIBA contest for Twickenham Riverside

6 December 2019
Credit: Hopkins Architects/RIBA
  • Hopkins Architects/RIBA

Hopkins Architects




United Kingdom

Richmond Council reveals preferred design to upgrade Thames site

The London Borough of Richmond upon Thames is taking new approach to redeveloping a significant riverside site in Twickenham, following a 2016 design contest that fell through when residents objected to Francis Terry’s winning regency-style concept. The Council are now working with RIBA competitions to select a design, and have revealed that their preferred concept is an entry submitted by Hopkins Architects. The strong shortlist also included Allies & Morrison, Haworth Tompkins and Baynes, Cullinan Studio, and Mitchell Architects with Outpost. 

The competition brief stated that the design should champion green over grey, with open areas to provide continuity of access between the town and the river. An important consideration was the re-provision of the Diamond Jubilee Gardens, which is owned by Twickenham Riverside Trust on a 125-year lease. Hopkins Architects envisage several landscaped spaces including The Winter Gardens, which they consider will ‘provide good shelter and opportunities for semi-external activities, bringing landscape and buildings into close relationship’. 

A unique feature situated opposite the development area is car-free Eel Pie Island, home to around 150 inhabitants and 30 businesses that rely on a footbridge for deliveries or access. The Island has four of the last remaining working boatyards on the tidal Thames. Hopkins Architects plans to incorporate the Island entry area as part of a new public plaza, with a notation on the design stating: “Market Square completes the Riverside Walk from Richmond, creating a great landing point for Eel Pie Bridge and space for all kinds of activity, from bands playing to people watching.”

The Council’s decision - together with funding approval - is expected to be ratified at a committee meeting in January, after which full design proposals will be drafted. Councillor Gareth Roberts, Leader of Richmond Council, said: “Twickenham Riverside should be the flourishing centre of Twickenham and the local area, but instead it’s being used as a car park with parking prioritised over people. For nearly 40 years this beautiful stretch of the River Thames has been awaiting a design that can showcase the riverside as a destination for people to live, play, work, enjoy and thrive.”

Lucy Nordberg
TenderStream Head of Research

This tender was first published by TenderStream on 28.03.2019 here

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