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Harrow Road Design Competition


The London Festival of Architecture and Westminster Council (WCC) have announced a competition for the design of a new public realm intervention along the Paddington Arm of the Grand Union Canal, in the Harrow Road area of Westminster.

The competition invites architects, landscape architects, designers and artists to create a design concept for a new installation, which will increase public interest and engagement with the canal, while highlighting the opportunities that revitalising this vacant stretch of towpath can offer the diverse and well-established Harrow Road community.

One of London’s few remaining ‘dark spaces’, this unloved towpath at the intersection between the canal and the Westway will see the installation of an experimental, ‘cross-section’ – a physical intervention that connects locals, visitors and passers-by with the canal. In keeping with the Festival’s mission to harness the talent of London’s architectural and creative community, this offers the opportunity to develop engaging and functional amenity space, creating a welcoming place that ensures greater use and accessibility by visitors and the local community throughout the London Festival of Architecture 2019.

Working alongside residents and stakeholders, Westminster City Council are developing ‘Place Plan’ to establish existing opportunities, priorities and objectives, creating projects with immediate and long-term benefits to ensure a socially sustainable future. As a key stakeholder in the ‘Place Plan’, the Canal & River Trust’s strategy for the area will provide an opportunity to promote the wellbeing benefits of the area’s waterside setting. Alongside improvements to the look and feel of the site, the project strives to enhance footfall with better-connected route and wayfinding for local residents, with a view to improving long-term links to the Paddington Opportunity Area, Old Oak and Park Royal.

Drawing on this initiative, this competition will offer a precursor to a wider landscape regeneration, testing strategies for improving the area’s appearance over the course of the 2019 Festival, in order to develop a permanent solution that better serves the community.

The competition will be judged by an expert panel including:

  • Ruchi Chakravarty (urban design coordinator,  Westminster City Council)
  • Tamsie Thomson (director, London Festival of Architecture)
  • Biljana Savic (local architect and director, Maida Hill Neighbourhood CIC)
  • Hannah Gibbs (enterprise manager, Canal & River Trust)
  • Frances Williams (technical editor, Architects’ Journal)

The call for entries document detailing the submission process can be found here. Submissions can be made through the following link below:


This competition has a two-stage submission, with potential entrants invited to submit their initial expressions of interest by 12pm on Friday 8 March 2019. A winning team will then be confirmed in early April and awarded a total budget of £30,000 plus VAT to develop a fully costed, feasible design that can be delivered ahead of June 2019 as part of this year’s London Festival of Architecture.

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