Imaginative designs invited for defunct gasholder bases

National Grid has teamed up with RIBA to launch a competition aimed at finding innovative ways of regenerating voids left vacant on sites of disused gasholders.

A competition has been launched by RIBA and National Grid to find imaginative solutions for using voids left where gasholders once stood, other than merely backfilling the holder base. National Grid Property Holding has more than one hundred sites of disused gasholders. While National Grid has pointed out that it's unlikely to be the developer for regenerating such sites, it hopes that winning designs will attract interest from potential developers and provide a guide for the future use of sites.

Current conventional practice usually involves backfilling gasholder bases, but this is resource-intensive and costly, given that there is potential for finding better uses for the circular voids. There has to be a viable market for such solutions, however, and there are also other risks and complexities involved due to the different types of substructures and potential levels of contamination involved. The National Grid is particularly keen to find alternative uses for these gasholder bases that are more environmentally sustainable and less costly.

The competition is open internationally to registered architects and design professionals and is being held in two phases. The deadline for phase one design ideas is 10 October 2017.

Full details of the competition can be found here.