Whose space is it anyway?

A scheme to transform the roof tops of city buildings into recreation areas for youngsters has won the Environmental Design Award at this year’s D&AD Global Student Awards.

‘Urban Canopy’ shows the huge potential that exists to make greater use of buildings in increasingly dense urban areas. The scheme includes bridges between roof tops, fake forests and film projection onto the sides of buildings. Highlighting the view, the tranquillity and the fresh air, designer William Potts from Leeds College of Art & Design describes the project as ‘a platform of activity above the everyday monotony of the busy streets below’.

Second prize was awarded to Satveer Kaur and Stuart Littlewood of Lincoln University for ‘Under the Bridge’, a scheme where unused spaces under bridges are transformed into community areas incorporating outdoor cinemas, dark rooms, libraries and computer suites.

Sponsored by the Prime Minister’s Better Public Building Award, the brief (Adobe PDF, 127KB) challenged students to create new opportunities for young people to engage in their local community by designing a structure or environment that would transform an underused space into a memorable public place.

It is estimated that there are 70,000 hectares of derelict and vacant land throughout England and Wales - an area approximating in size to Greater London. CABE asked students to consider where the structure would be placed and how it would work in a variety of different settings and locations.

The winners were announced at a gala dinner and ceremony at Old Billingsgate in London on Thursday 29th June.

First and second prize winners received a D&AD Student Pencil as well as cash prizes of £1,000 and £400 respectively.