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Graeme Massie Architects come a long way in amazing first year

June 15 2005

An Edinburgh practice only established last year has won two prestigious place-making competitions. Graeme Massie Architects beat off 93 submissions from around the world in a competition to re-design the fragmented Bonn Square in the West End of Oxford with some significant landscaping in a listed area. “It was a very difficult brief. There’s a listed church and the Tyrah Memorial, which is for a battle in North India in the square but most difficult thing to deal with were the different levels within cemeteries. They couldn’t be levelled so we had to stagger the fall,” said Graeme Massie.
In addition the practice has won first prize in a competition for a town centre plan for Akureyeri, the second biggest town in Iceland, run by a group of retailers. Although 50 miles south of the Arctic Circle the town centre is suffering from the European wide problem of what happens to traditional centres when an out of town shopping centre draws away visitors. “We introduced a number of linear parks and have added a new channel to bring the harbour right into the town centre. It’ll be opened up to spectacular views of the fjords,” said Massie.
“The competition sponsors will now endeavour… to develop strategies for implementing the prize-winning proposal,” said Andri Teittson, spokesperson for Vision Akureyri. “Given the size of Iceland things tend to happen quickly there,” said Massie. The competition winning design for Bonn Square will be displayed at the Modern Art Oxford, until June 19.

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