Bright idea to create footpath silhouettes wins £5,000 prize

A COMPETITION that aimed to spark innovative architectural ideas for “forgotten” corners of a Yorkshire city was last night won by a project that aims to “magically” light a dark footpath.

The Forgotten Spaces contest was unveiled in Sheffield earlier this year by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and Sheffield Hallam University, with a top prize of £5,000.

The cash was given to city-based designer Chris Patterson, whose scheme Guiding Lights, used motion sensors to trigger bright silhouettes on an LED screen as walkers pass.

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Blueprints show the screen installed along Frog Walk, a path between Sheffield’s Ecclesall Road and Sharrow Vale Road, which is at present described as “dark, isolated and foreboding”.

The idea also includes the use of a smartphone “app” that would allow regular users to design their own silhouette or “avatar” to accompany them each time they used the path.

Emma England, director of RIBA Yorkshire, who was one of the judges, said: “It has been a real delight to be part of this terrific ideas competition.

“As a member of the judging panel, I have been inspired to see such a fantastic range of creative, innovative, thought-provoking and in some cases controversial ideas for transforming forgotten spaces in Sheffield.”

Second and third place prizes were also awarded at last night’s ceremony at Sheffield’s Crucible Theatre, which was organised by competition sponsors Sheffield Chamber of Commerce.

Oliver Peach was the first runner-up, winning £3,000 for Wicker Spice, a plan to develop abandoned building’s in the city’s Wicker area into an essential oil distillery, which judges said “celebrated the community’s cultural mix”.

The third prize of £1,000 was given to Doma Architects, whose Food for Thought idea would involve refurbishing a dilapidated barn in Sheffield’s Millhouses Park into a self-sufficient community centre, complete with allotments and café.