Going underground

Design competition with a subterranean twist

Background
One of the hottest topics in architecture currently is underground structures with projects such as ‘Earthscraper’ really capturing the imagination of architects. There are also discussions in the UK about subterranean roads across London and the use of prime land below ground.

The Idea
CIB comms’ longest standing client RIW are a structural waterproofing provider and a lot of the applications they work on are ‘below ground’.
From experience we know that architects love to be creative and given RIW’s heavy involvement in underground waterproofing we proposed a competition encouraging architects to get creative and design an underground structure below any UK building or landmark. The objective being to help strengthen the link between RIW and designing below ground.
We asked architects to submit designs that were serious, witty, political and generally just have fun with it!

The Results
The idea was a huge success, entries were received from a wide range of individual architects, practices and architecture students. Some serious, some lighthearted but all highly creative. The competition generated significant social media activity with architects continually re-tweeting and favouriting content throughout the promotional period.

With the help of the Architects Journal we managed to land Ken Shuttleworth (the architect behind the Gherkin and founder of MAKE Architects) as our main judge alongside Rory Olcayto (the editor).
Following the judging meeting, a shortlist of seven were invited to a winners lunch and a dedicated six page write was published in the AJ in their 26th June issue.