Going underground

One of the hottest topics in architecture currently is underground structures with projects such as ‘Earthscraper’ really capturing the imagination of architects. There are also discussions in the UK about subterranean roads across London and the use of prime land below ground.

Our longest standing client RIW are a structural waterproofing provider and a lot of the applications they work on are 'below ground'.

From experience we know that architects love to be creative and given RIW’s heavy involvement in underground waterproofing we proposed a competition encouraging architects to get creative and design an underground structure below any UK building or landmark. The objective being to help strengthen the link between RIW and designing below ground.

With Architects Journal’s help we managed to secure Ken Shuttleworth (the architect behind the Gherkin and founder of MAKE Architects) as our main judge alongside Rory Olcayto (the editor).

We asked architects to submit designs that were serious, witty, political and generally just have fun with it, which is exactly what they did. Amongst the entries were the Fun Palace of Westminster, where politics meets entertainment, and the Gherkin project, an underground space port in the heart of the city of London.

Following the judging meeting, a shortlist of seven were invited to a winners lunch and a dedicated six page write up was published in the AJ in their 26th June issue and re-produced online. Congratulations to MSMR Architects for their winning entry - a columbarium in Kensington Gardens using the Long Water as its landmark.

A dedicated competition section on the AJ website housed the best entries and a huge volume of engagement was achieved through the supporting social media campaign, which was key in driving the competition with architects continually re-tweeting and favouriting content throughout the promotional period.

“Our partnership with Architects Journal has delivered impactful brand presence across our core target audience. We are well known for waterproofing below ground level, so CIB’s suggestion of a competition further associating RIW with designing underground structures made perfect sense.”

- Sarah Patrick, Marketing Manager, RIW Ltd

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