Next week, councillors will discuss detailed proposals for an architects’ competition on the future of Twickenham Riverside.

Last month, the Council Leader announced that a competition would be held to help inform the future design of the Riverside. This follows the withdrawal of the Planning Application agreed locally in March 2018.

On Monday 29 October, members of the Housing, Community Safety and Environment Committee, will consider a report outlining more detail on how the competition could work. It is proposed that the Council instruct the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) to oversee the competition.

RIBA have extensive experience and are a widely recognised provider of architectural competitions, delivering high profile selection processes for both the private and public sector clients. RIBA would be expected to develop a project brief for the competition - using the feedback gathered in the consultations regarding the site over the last few years. They would also help guide the evaluation of the submitted proposals, shortlisting five potentially feasible submissions for public consultation.

At the same time, a new Local Stakeholder Reference Group will be established. This group will be made up of representatives from various community groups in Twickenham who have an interest in the regeneration of the Riverside.

Managing the project would be a new Twickenham Riverside Design Group. This would be made up of the Council Leader, Cabinet Members for Environment and Planning and Business. In addition would be, a local ward councillor, representative from the new Stakeholder Reference Group, a local resident with professional technical experience and a technical expert from RIBA will be appointed.

Following the discussion at the Scrutiny Committee, the proposal will be submitted to Cabinet on the 15 November. Should the approach be approved, it is hoped that the architects’ competition would launch in the spring.

Residents would be invited to have their say on five-shortlisted proposals.

Cllr Gareth Roberts, Leader of Richmond Council, said:

“We have always said that we have one shot to get the regeneration of Twickenham right. Any decisions must fully involve residents, not happen behind closed doors.

“This new proposed approach will open up the whole decision-making process. We will be working with architectural experts to interpret feedback including what we have already heard. They will then oversee a competition, independently from us.

“The five shortlisted designs will be subject to public consultation. We won’t be cherry picking architects. We will be asking residents’ views on all the submissions.”

— from a Richmond Council press release - 22 October 2018