Shortlist announced for Floating Viewpoint in King's Cross

The Architecture Foundation and The Finnish Institute in London are happy to announce their collaboration with the London Wildlife Trust to appoint an emerging Finnish architectural practice to design and deliver a permanent Floating Viewpoint structure for Camley Street Natural Park in London’s King’s Cross.

The structure, which will be built and launched in 2013, will be designed to serve as a viewing platform and additional workshop facility for the London Wildlife Trust’s popular Camley Street Natural Park. The nature reserve, which sits alongside Regents Canal, welcomes 30,000 visitors a year and acts as an invaluable study centre for many local London schools. Camley Street’s new floating structure will allow the London Wildlife Trust to expand its educational remit by hosting additional workshops to examine and monitor the canal and its associated wildlife. The park provides a natural habitat for birds, butterflies, amphibians and a rich variety of plant life on its unique two acres of wild green space right in the heart of London.

Three emerging Finnish architectural teams, Erkko Aarti & Arto OllilaEsa Ruskeepää Architects (ERA); and Heikki Muntola & Toni Österlund, have been invited to submit a proposal for the Camley Street Viewpoint that responds to this unique site. The Finnish Institute and The Architecture Foundation in collaboration with the London Wildlife Trust will appoint one of the three shortlisted teams to design the Viewpoint. Marcos Cruz, Director of the Bartlett School of Architecture; Owen Pritchard, Deputy Editor, Icon Magazine and Ken Trew, Project Director, Argent will join the commissioning partners on the selection jury. The winner will be announced in January 2013 and will work closely with the delivery partners to deliver the project throughout that year.

The three practices competing for the commission were selected from a long list of eight practices nominated by Finnish architects Ville Hara (Avanto Architects), Vesa Oiva (Anttinen-Oiva Architects) and Samuli Woolston (ALA Architects). The nominators who are themselves key representatives of new generation of architects working in Finland took part in the New Architects: Finland_UK Exchange Programme curated by the Finnish Institute, The Architecture Foundation and the Museum of Finnish Architecture in 2012.