Outpost win RIBA Gasholder Base Competition

29 January 2018


United Kingdom

Affordable housing and studios proposed to fill former gasholder sites

In October 2017, RIBA launched a competition to find innovative designs for the distinctive sub-surface voids left by the removal of gasholder bases owned by National Grid Property. Empty voids are a potental safety hazard, so the default practice is backfilling in order to level the area, enabling sale to potential developers. However, backfilling is labour and resource intensive. The competition invited ideas for an alternative potential reuse of these distinctive circular spaces. 

The winner, Waterloo-based Outpost Architecture & Design, impressed the judges with their scheme, which addressed the national lack of affordable homes, studios and workspaces. Laura Watson, Gasholder Demolition Manager, said: "Outpost's mixed use design fully utilised the void and would deliver much needed housing and workspaces at a deliverable scale." At street level, the design incorporates a residential area, with the inside of the void populated by an industrial space surrounding a large sunken communal courtyard. Russ Davenport, RIBA advisor, commented that Outpost's success stemmed from "close attention to the brief and a solution which could easily provide a sustainable future for the country's stock of gasholder bases."

Lucy Nordberg
TenderStream Research Specialist & Editor

This competition was first published by TenderStream on 15.09.2017. See the original brief here

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