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Architecture Foundation coming to Southwark Street

The shortlist has been announced in a competition to design the Architecture Foundation's new £2.25 million centre in Southwark Street.

The new centre for architecture – due to open in Autumn 2006 – will be located on the corner of Southwark Street and Great Guildford Street, part of the Bankside123 site (formerly home to St Christopher House). The AF says that the centre is "conceived a place of energy, creative ideas and activity, where the public can engage with the best contemporary architecture". The centre will boast exhibition space, events space, offices and a bar.

The Foundation received over 200 submissions from over 20 countries for Stage 1 of the competition to design the new building, funded by Bankside123 developers Land Securities. The shortlisted practices are AOC, Caruso St John, Foreign Office Architects, Graft, Zaha Hadid, Lacaton and Vassal, MVRDV and Bernard Tschumi. The eight practices will now develop designs for the building, and the winner will be announced in the New Year.

"This list is what we were looking for and more" commented Rowan Moore, director of the Architecture Foundation. "Each of the chosen architects has the potential to create an unprecedented cultural building. We said in our brief that the new building should have the qualities of both a billboard and a chapel, to engage the public and create reflective space, and each architect on the list will respond in a completely different way. Whoever wins, London will have a building of a kind that it hasn't seen before."

The jury for the final round will be chaired by Rowan Moore, and will consist of Will Alsop, Chairman of the Architecture Foundation (architect of Palestra in Blackfriars Road); Paola Antonelli, Curator of Architecture & Design, Museum of Modern Art, New York; David Chipperfield of David Chipperfield Architects; Nigel Coates of Branson Coates; Mike Hussey, Managing Director, London Portfolio, Land Securities; Tate director Sir Nicholas Serota; Jonathan Turk, Development Director, London Portfolio, Land Securities.

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