Alston Murphy Associates architect on awards shortlist

A YOUNG architect has been shortlisted in a UK awards scheme that could see the transformation of pockets of overlooked space in the region.

A YOUNG architect has been shortlisted in a UK awards scheme that could see the transformation of pockets of overlooked space in the region.

Ollie Currie, 28, of Newcastle-based Alston Murphy Associates, is in line for a £5,000 cash prize for his ideas to rediscover forgotten spaces and encourage tourism by creating a circuit around the line of the old Newcastle city walls.

The Forgotten Spaces 2012 awards are being organised by RIBA North East in partnership with industry magazine Architects’ Journal, in a bid to encourage imaginative proposals to improve and celebrate the region’s left out areas.

Currie said: “Even though not all the length of the wall is visible now, it is still a reminder of our great heritage and worth celebrating.

“Ironically, while invaders failed to penetrate the wall, a combination of deterioration and development has resulted in the wall becoming a forgotten space.

“My hobby is motorsport and I wanted to create a circuit for cars that as far as possible retraced the line of the old walls, showing where the six main gates stood and where new and old roads dissect the walls. Coloured beams and beacons identify various points of interest along the way, and the scheme could work as both a visitor trail or even a motorsport event to boost sustainable tourism.”

Alston Murphy’s team submission, lost icons, has also been shortlisted in the awards.

This involves a series of periscope-like viewing platforms and interventions along a route around the city, creating an alternative sight-seeing trail and using modern technology to juxtapose images of past and present views and give users a unique perspective on lost icons of the North East.

The awards were open to all UK university students and professionals within the arts, design and built environment, and entries were judged on accessibility, sustainability, inclusivity and cost relative to the site.

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