architects
Kranzgasse 18/5B
AT-1150 Vienna

Karl-Marx-Platz 15
DE-12043 Berlin
email office@moh-architects.com

summary

The competition site is characterized by two very distinct spatial qualities. With its southern border directly connected to the tranquil waterfront and its northern edge linking up with a main traffic artery, it is about connectivity and exposure just as much as it is about calm plazas and beautiful vistas. Focusing on this qualitative bipolarity the design proposal suggests a two‐fold strategy:

Firstly, the building envelope is designed such that it effectively delineates the afore‐mentioned domains without preventing a natural and continuous circulation throughout the site. The resulting dichotomy allows for fostering the two distinct qualities independent from one another, to credibly co‐exist on a very confined area.

Secondly, the strands constituting the urban form locally react to the given spatial condition. While connecting the two domains in one continuous movement, the building section changes depending on the proximity to the northern and southern edge of the site: Façade inclinations, building depths, window area, floor‐to‐floor height etc. adjust with the shifting site conditions.

information

Project: Walsall Waterfront
Location: Walsall, United Kingdom
Type: Polifunctional
Year: 2009
Team: Mehlan, Opperer, Hugo
Client: Urban Splash Ltd.
Status: intl. competition / winning entry - in planning, (sadly) on hold
Project Partners: -

press release

Urban Splash has announced Vienna based practice MOH Architects as winners of the Lex competition in Walsall.

The competition, run with RIBA, called for architects to deliver an innovative new concept which would stand on a 2.1 acre site within the Walsall Waterfront scheme.

MOH was selected because of its ability to bring out what is special about the site and use the waterfront location to its full potential. The outline design comprises four low level buildings which will stand at the Northern end of the site. The buildings will align the waterfront and will contain a mix of residential and commercial units as well as public courtyards and private residential areas.

Jörg Hugo of MOH, said: “We are thrilled to have had our designs selected and are really looking forward to working with Urban Splash, its partners and the local community to refine the proposals.”

MOH were selected following an intense judging process involving six other practices, with Uxbridge based Kirkland Fraser Moore coming a very close second. Judges included acclaimed architects such as Will Alsop, Glenn Howells, the man behind Urban Splash award winning Rotunda scheme, and Hazel Rounding of shedkm. Also on the panel were key Walsall Council figures, Ben Reid of the Walsall Regeneration Company, Peter Murray of English Partnerships and Stuart Kirkwood of Advantage West Midlands.

Urban Splash was represented by chief executive Jonathan Falkingham and Midlands managing director Nathan Cornish who said: “The panel was looking for a concept which was right for Walsall, something which would not only complement the Waterfront plans, but also come up with a vision that would work this waterfront site to its full potential.

“The calibre of entries was incredibly high and we were delighted to see such a strong interpretation of our requirements. Not only was MOH’s winning design superb but there has to be a special mention to runners up Kirkland Fraser Moore for their stunning entry as well as Type O, an exemplary young practice whose ingenuity and creativity is extremely exciting for the industry.”

Councillor Adrian Andrew, Walsall Council deputy leader and cabinet member for regeneration, said: “This is fantastic news and a truly inspiring idea for a development that will continue the exciting work at the Waterfront. With our partners it was always our intention to create a new quarter within Walsall based on architectural design of the highest order and this continues the trend.”