Competition launches for memory and wellbeing building

A CALL to design a new building on the site of a former Dumfries hospital has been issued, in the form of an open competition.

The building is for the Crichton Campus, and is provisionally to be called The Crichton Project for Memory and Wellbeing.

The project – estimated at £15m – aims to enhance “people’s understanding of the Crichton’s 180-year heritage and innovation in the provision of mental health care” and to “bring together a new visual arts and exhibition space, an inter-generational academic library, and a regional art and land archives and research centre”.

Says the brief, here: “The… project… is a two-stage competition that is open to all registered chartered architects both in the UK and internationally, as well as collaborations. Non-architects can be part of a team as long as the lead team member is a registered chartered architect.”

Following a blind shortlisting process, five teams will then be awarded an honorarium of £20,000 to develop their proposals, with the expectation that a winning team will be announced in November.

Adds the brief: “We envisage the new build to be an architecturally-significant building, carbon neutral (or better) and one which is as much a piece of art and wellbeing in the landscape as the art it will seek to celebrate, research and reflect.”

The competition is being conducted in association with the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland – specifically, its competitions and procurement arm – which is reporting the story, here.

The RIAS describes the project as a “step-change’ for its competitions and procurement arm, which is called RIAS Consultancy.

The UK Community Renewal Fund has given financial support to the competition phase.

The deadline for stage one entries is August 19.

Picture credit: The Crichton Trust

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