Three commendations were awarded by the jury:
1. Strategic/direct support – won by Lyn Atlier and Urban Narrative
This proposal identified the real potential of ExCeL as an untapped public resource whose existing infrastructure and resources can be harnessed to support new relationships and activities. By enhancing the range of activities within ExCeL, using its central atrium as a social and meeting space, and opening up its waterfront as a space for new community and workspaces, the proposal offers real reasons for people to come over from Custom House. The jury felt LYN Atelier and Urban Narrative’s proposal could best help meet the Mayor of London’s Good Growth Agenda, and described the use of ‘normal, everyday stuff’ as a ‘stroke of genius’ that could also break down barriers and increase the range of uses across the Royal Docks, allowing the neighbourhood to function better at local and international levels.
2. Game changer – won by Klassnik Corporation and LSA
Klassnik Corporation and LSA proposed a new walkway structure – sculpting the roof of an existing shopping parade to create a new level that can link ExCeL, Custom House station and a new public square. The jury awarded their commendation for the proposal they felt could best curate and enhance the experience of arrival, and to ensure transport infrastructure does not further separate communities from access to the docks, businesses and amenities. They recognised the potential of this proposal to break down the barrier between Custom House station and local facilities, thereby opening up useful public space, providing space for new activities and supporting sustainable energy and transport.
3. Meaningful engagement with local communities, context and identity – won by Ash Sakula
Ash Sakula addressed the physical boundary presented by the railway by extending the Custom House station walkway into Custom House itself, lining it with restaurants, cafes and bars, and opening out into a square that then flows into a sequence of new squares and spaces accommodating a variety of recreational, retail and community uses. This was described by the jury as a ‘delightful’ scheme that connected the two sides of the neighbourhood, in a way that addresses the Mayor of Newham’s agenda of putting the residents at the heart of everything. The jury admired the way Ash Sakula put equal effort and care into both sides of the railway, the use of ExCeL as a meaningful resources, and the use of materials to convey a sense of everyday life.
In addition to a commendation for meaningful engagement, Ash Sakula were the overwhelming winner of the ‘people’s choice’ award based on an audience vote.