Spanish architect scoops top prize in Wimbledon competition with plans for rooftop gardens, outdoor cinemas and skateboarding areas

A Spanish architect was crowned the winner of Future Wimbledon’s Ideas Competition with designs that are set to transform Wimbledon into a playful, urban hub by 2030.

Pablo Sendra, 31, won the ‘Rising Star’ award for his Play Wimbledon proposal, which included secret rooftop gardens, skateboarding areas and outdoor cinemas, along with £3,000 and the opportunity to act as the town’s Design Champion.

Mr Sendra runs Lugadero architectural office in his hometown of Seville and teaches Urban Design at the Bartlett School of Planning at University College London.

He entered the competition along with his Lugadero colleagues, Javier Martínez and Marta Morera after first hearing about it on Facebook.

He said: “I thought [the competition] sounded like a really good opportunity and I wanted to propose something different from a normal master plan.

“We were asked to think about the aspects eat, live, work and play so we decided to focus on play!

Play Wimbledon proposal

“We want the local community to be excited about the redevelopment and we thought the best way to involve everyone was to unite them with fun, this way everyone is engaged in the process.”

“The idea is to reactivate Wimbledon by introducing games and playful activities in little corners of the town.”

Citing his inspiration as Dutch architect Aldo van Eyck, who built many playgrounds in post-war Amsterdam, Mr Sendra revealed: “Wimbledon is a beautiful place and I am looking forward to being involved in its regeneration.”

The winner was announced at Future Wimbledon’s Design Talk at the Wimbledon Bookfest.

The judging panel consisted of design and architectural A-listers Paul Finch OBE, Alison Brooks, Wayne Hemmingway MBE, Peter Murray and Morag Myerscough.

Speaking about the competition, Merton Council’s cabinet member for environmental sustainability and regeneration, Councillor Andrew Judge, said: “There are many people in Merton who are full of creative and innovative ideas.

“We want to harness them all so we can ensure Wimbledon has that bright and dynamic future in which it can play its part fully in London’s creative, technology and business success.”

The competition was run by Merton council’s regeneration team FutureMerton and Love Wimbledon Business Improvement District.

It’s designed as part of the 2015 master plan to guide investment and manage growth in the town for the next 15 years while showcasing local talent.

Competition entries will be exhibited at New London Architecture and in Wimbledon town centre between October 9 and November 7.

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