Posted: 14 November 2017
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Innovative ideas for gasholder bases
Innovative ideas for gasholder bases

Six teams make the competition shortlist with their novel proposals on how to re-use National Grid’s empty gasholder bases.

There are many innovative ideas for future uses of National Grid’s gasholder bases.

“We've been delighted with the quality and range of ideas"

Matthew Pearce, Operations Programme Manager, National Grid.

Battery storage, sports venue, parking and charging for driverless cars, a mixed use development, housing – even a crematorium: these are among the ideas of six innovative teams for future uses of National Grid’s gasholder bases.

The six were shortlisted from a total of 104 entries in the competition organised for National Grid by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) under its RIBA Competitions programme. They now receive £3,000 each to develop their ideas further.

The six are: 318 Studio, Architects, Jan Verhagen and Priscille Rodriguez, Max Architects, Outpost Architecture and Design Studio, and WOO – Wilson Owens Owens Architects.
They impressed the competition panel with their “inspiring and innovative ideas” for what to do with gasholder bases – the holes in the ground left after an old gasholder has been dismantled and removed.

We have a portfolio of gasholders due to be dismantled. Each has an engineered base set into the ground which, if left empty and unused, can present a health and safety hazard. Backfilling the hole and leveling the site ready for development is an obvious solution, but it is labour-intensive, expensive and has environmental risks.

So we decided to investigate alternative uses of these sites, and have been “delighted with the quality and range of ideas,” said Matthew Pearce, Operations Programme Manager at National Grid. Thanking entrants for their time and efforts, he added: “Choosing a shortlist was extremely challenging.”

Russ Davenport, FaulknerBrowns Architects and RIBA Architect Adviser for the competition, said the competition gave teams “an opportunity to showcase inventive solutions for these challenging sites.” The response produced “a fantastic variety of ideas at a very high standard.”

Gas innovation in full flow