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MRC’s design competition winners compete for new prizes

Tintagel Castle Bridge and a ‘Chelsea original’ shortlisted for 2020 RIBA Regional Awards

© David Levene / James Brittain

It is hard to think of two design projects that are more polar-opposite than Tintagel Castle Bridge and Chelsea’s new Duke of York Restaurant.

One speaks to those who love dizzying views of Cornish seascapes and wish to follow in Merlin’s footsteps; the other to the cosmopolites and fashionistas of London’s King’s Road.

But both these projects, which came out of closely fought MRC competitions back in 2016 and 2012 respectively, will vie for the (now rescheduled) 2020 RIBA Regional Awards.

Tintagel Castle Bridge Design Competition attracted 137 entrants from 27 countries at the first stage, whilst the Duke of York Restaurant, originally called the Cadogan Café, attracted 147 from 15 countries.

Both shortlists were glittering, both sites are sensitive and revered for different reasons, and for competition-watchers and past jurors, it is enlightening to see that the finished built articles are faithful to the original winning renders.

Neither had extravagant budgets but through exemplary design, they hugely improve the human experience of the landscape and the city.

And, both are, as the juries remarked at the time, memorable, original and inventive.

Congratulations to Ney & Partners and William Matthews Associates, and Nex Architecture, as well as clients English Heritage and the Cadogan Estate – we wish you success at the awards.

Tintagel Castle Footbridge
South West RIBA Regional Awards 2020 Shortlist

Ney & Partners and William Matthews Associates triumphed in the original competition with their elegant and inventive design – two cantilevers that span the dramatic chasm but don’t quite meet in the middle. Dazzlingly imaginative and skilful, this 40-milimetre central gap allows each half of the bridge to expand and contract, simultaneously creating a poetic transition between mainland and island, present and past, reality and legend.

The bridge, which is at clifftop height, 28 metres higher than the current crossing and 72 metres in span, opens up exhilarating views of the island, coastline and Atlantic seascape as it traces the path of the original land-link.

Revisit the competition website here.

© David Levene

The Duke of York Restaurant
South London RIBA Regional Awards 2020 Shortlist

Nex Architecture was selected as the winner of the Cadogan Café Design Competition, offering an innovative contemporary design that features an organic, coiled form shaped from pre-cast concrete and curved glass panels.

This 640 sqm restaurant, in a sensitive and prominent site on London’s iconic King’s Road, incorporates an ingenious retractable glass wall that rises and falls depending on the weather, blurring the boundaries between private dining area and public realm. A gently curving outdoor staircase leads to a herbal roof garden which is open to the public.

Revisit the competition website here.

© James Brittain