RIBA Suffolk chairman hopes to inspire the next generation of architects with Ipswich Winerack competition

Bryan Wybrow

Bryan Wybrow - Credit: Archant

A nationwide competition challenging architect students to come up with a finished design for Ipswich’s infamous ‘Winerack’ building is just one of a number of initiatives aimed at inspiring young designers and promoting the sector in the region being planned by the Suffolk branch of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).

RIBA Suffolk will be challenging architecture students to come up with a finished design for the Ips

RIBA Suffolk will be challenging architecture students to come up with a finished design for the Ipswich's infamous 'Winerack' building on the town's waterfront. - Credit: Angela Sharpe Photography

Although contractors have already been appointed to complete work on the high-rise landmark, which has stood unfinished on Ipswich’s waterfront for a decade, chair of RIBA Suffolk, Bryan Wybrow, said the competition was “a great opportunity to promote Suffolk architecture.”

He added: “We will be sending a brief out to every RIBA registered student around the country urging them to enter a design - it will include some information about Ipswich waterfront written by the Ipswich Society, so they have some background and there is likely to be a cash prize of £500.

“We want to generate some interest and enthusiasm for architecture in Suffolk.”

Mr Wybrow, who is a project architect at KLH Architects in Sproughton near Ipswich, took over as chair of RIBA Suffolk last year following the tragic, untimely death of his predecessor Mark Savin, who had been a director of Infinity Architects in Bury St Edmunds.

And while 2017 was a year of consolidation for RIBA Suffolk, this year promises to be more eventful with a number of activities planned to coincide with the launch of an architecture degree course at the University of Suffolk.

“We totally support the new course and want to be hands on with our involvement - with our members giving guest lectures and being involved in forums with students. We want to show there is a lot of talent in the region.

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“A lot of students get attracted to London because they think that is where all the exciting projects are but we’ve had young architects come to us because they weren’t getting real exposure to rewarding work working for London firms.”

Mr Wybrow also said the body will be continuing with the RIBA Design and Craftsmanship Awards which has run for a number of years now. There is a mid-February closing date for nominations with the winners due to announced at the SJCC Annual Supper held at Trinity Park in May.