Design plans for Humber Quays West and Ice Arena

A winner has been chosen in an international flood risk design competition run by Hull City Council.

The prestigious RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) competition, called Living With Water, asked architects from across the globe to produce innovative and practical design solutions to the flood risks facing future development in Hull.

Entrants planned unique and distinctive urban neighbourhoods at two of the city’s most prominent waterfront redevelopment sites, Humber Quays West and Hull Arena.

They were asked to produce a design that prioritised water resilience, with no self-contained apartments at ground-floor level, while exceeding the city’s ambitions for quality new homes for residents.

Of the 44 entries submitted by local, national and international organisations, five architects were shortlisted.

The judging panel selected Newcastle firm Harper Perry as winners for its design of a model of urban living that is sustainable, resilient and adaptable to changing needs and climate challenges.

The winning design features a strategy for holding flood waters and allowing it to be released slowly, with a landscape strategy including promenade, sunken ballcourts, amphitheatres and play parks all framed by characterful townhouses and apartment buildings in a diverse residential neighbourhood.

It will go on show – along with all 44 entries – at Trinity Market from Tuesday 9 July to Wednesday 17 July.

Councillor Daren Hale, portfolio holder for planning, land and property, said: “This fascinating competition is just the latest chance for Hull to again show we are nothing short of a world leader in water resilience.

“Humber Quays West and Hull Arena are two of the city's most prestigious redevelopment opportunities. This winning design shows how forward-thinking this city will be when developing sites such as this, with water in mind.”

Hull has the second-highest number of properties at flood risk in the UK outside of London, with 98 per cent of the city at “high risk” of flooding.

Councillor Mike Thompson, portfolio holder for neighbourhoods, communities and environment, said: “Hull is a city built around water, which has over the years brought a fantastic amount of opportunity to the city, but it also brings challenges.

“Hull City Council is committed to ensuring future development provides well-designed homes in attractive and sustainable neighbourhoods. We are leading the way nationally in terms of flood and surface water management.

“After securing more than £200m of investment into the city’s flood and drainage infrastructure, we are providing a clear path for how new development will be designed in the city.”

Charlie Spencer, landowner for the Humber Quays West site, who was on the judging panel, said: “Once the site has been utilised by the Highways England contractor for the A63 contract, it will be available for development. The architects will be engaged to present an exciting and sustainable scheme to bring the riverside to life in a memorable and distinct style.

“We wish them the very best of luck and offer our congratulations.”

Read more about the competition at

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