LEX, Walsall Waterfront


MOH selected as architect at Waterfront site

Urban Splash has announced Vienna based practice MOH Architects as winners of the Lex competition in Walsall.

The competition, run with RIBA, called for architects to deliver an innovative new concept which would stand on a 2.1 acre site within the Walsall Waterfront scheme.

MOH was selected because of its ability to bring out what is special about the site and use the waterfront location to its full potential. The outline design comprises four low level buildings which will stand at the Northern end of the site. The buildings will align the waterfront and will contain a mix of residential and commercial units as well as public courtyards and private residential areas.

Jörg Hugo of MOH, said: “We are thrilled to have had our designs selected and are really looking forward to working with Urban Splash, its partners and the local community to refine the proposals.”

MOH were selected following an intense judging process involving six other practices, with Uxbridge based Kirkland Fraser Moore coming a very close second. Judges included acclaimed architects such as Will Alsop, Glenn Howells, the man behind Urban Splash award winning Rotunda scheme, and Hazel Rounding of shedkm. Also on the panel were key Walsall Council figures, Ben Reid of the Walsall Regeneration Company, Peter Murray of English Partnerships and Stuart Kirkwood of Advantage West Midlands.

Urban Splash was represented by chief executive Jonathan Falkingham and Midlands managing director Nathan Cornish who said: “The panel was looking for a concept which was right for Walsall, something which would not only complement the Waterfront plans, but also come up with a vision that would work this waterfront site to its full potential.

“The calibre of entries was incredibly high and we were delighted to see such a strong interpretation of our requirements. Not only was MOH’s winning design superb but there has to be a special mention to runners up Kirkland Fraser Moore for their stunning entry as well as Type O, an exemplary young practice whose ingenuity and creativity is extremely exciting for the industry.”


This new open design competition seeks innovative and exciting design proposals for phase two of the Walsall Waterfront redevelopment.

Category Project Competition / Competition Result
Type Architecture Project Competition
Genre Urban
Country Walsall, UK
RegDeadline 23 May 2008 GoogleCal iCal
30 May 2008 (Must be Received) GoogleCal
Eligibility Registered Architects

Urban Splash is already on site with phase one of the Walsall Waterfront development. Located next to the New Art Gallery, designed by Caruso St John, phase one comprises six new buildings designed by award-winning architects, SMC Alsop, shedkm, and Feix Merlin. The new vision is to create a new town quarter for Walsall comprising new apartments, offices, retail and leisure space, a 630-space car park and high quality public spaces.

Sitting a little further down the canal from the phase one site, LEX will form the second phase. Partners, AWM, WRC and Walsall Council, have invited Urban Splash to produce plans for the triangular site that is bordered on two sides by canals.

Tom Bloxham MBE is chairman of Urban Splash and will officially open the competition, ‘Our inspirations for this site are typically high. We’re looking for excitement, flair, and imagination – basically we’re looking for the defining piece of architecture for Walsall.

‘With phase one including incredible architecture such as Stilts and Oysters, we’re keen that phase two will deliver more buildings that are equally successful in their combination of form and function.’

Already cleared, LEX stretches to 2.26acres (0.19ha) and sits on the junction of the Walsall Canal and the Walsall Town Arm. Some of the uses Urban Splash would like to see include possibly a hotel, conference facilities, flexible leisure/performance space and great public realm, along with residential, offices, bars and restaurants.

Glenn Howells – Glenn Howells Architects
Will Alsop – SMC Alsop
Hazel Rounding – shedkm
Stuart Kirkwood, Director of Development – Advantage West Midlands
Paul Sheehan, Chief Executive – Walsall Council
Ben Reid, Chairman – Walsall Regeneration Company
Paul Spooner, Regional Director – English Partnerships
Tom Bloxham, Chairman – Urban Splash Group
Jonathan Falkingham, Chief Executive – Urban Splash Group
Nathan Cornish, Managing Director – Urban Splash Midlands Ltd

Judging Process
Three-Stage, Anonymous Competition

Winner: Design commission
Stage two finalist: £3,000 each

Entry Fee

3 A1 sheets

Delivered to
RIBA Competitions Office
6 Melbourne Street
T : ++44 (0)113 2341335

Questions: 11th April
Answer: no later than 18th April
Shortlist announced: 23rd June 2008
Interview of finalists: July 2008
Notification of winner: July/August 2008

Urban Splash, Advantage West Midlands (AWM), Walsall Council, Walsall Regeneration Company (WRC)

Official Website