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Architecture Foundation HQ gets green light from planners

A striking new building for Southwark Street designed by Zaha Hadid has been granted planning permission by Southwark Council.

Architecture Foundation HQ gets green light from planners
Architecture Foundation HQ gets green light from planners
Topping out ceremony for Bankside 2 & 3 held last
Topping out ceremony for Bankside 2 & 3 held last week

The Architecture Foundation's new architecture centre will be located on the corner of Southwark Street and Great Guildford Street as part of Land Securities' Bankside 123 development.

"I am absolutely delighted that the designs for the new Architecture Foundation headquarters have secured planning permission," says Zaha Hadid.

"The centre will be my first public building in London and is therefore an especially important project for my practice."

Scheduled to open in autumn 2008, the design of the landmark building has evolved since Hadid won the international design competition run by Land Securities in January 2005.

The Architecture Foundation will be organised over four levels united by a vertical glass-walled space. It will provide exhibition space on the ground, mezzanine and first floors, an events space on the first floor, and offices and a boardroom on the top floor. There is also provision for a café/bar on the ground floor.

The new home for British architecture will double as the charity's headquarters and a purpose built public venue for exhibitions and events on architecture.

"Zaha Hadid's new building will be both a venue for communicating architecture to the public, and a powerful expression of architectural imagination," says Rowan Moore, director of the Architecture Foundation.

"We are delighted with and grateful for the London Borough of Southwark's support for the project."

Welcoming the decision, Mike Hussey, managing director of Land Securities' London Portfolio, says: "The cutting-edge new design highlights our commitment to great architecture and will contribute to the regeneration of Southwark, putting the area on the map. Southwark is fast becoming a cultural hub with Tate Modern, The Globe Theatre, and now the Architecture Foundation, at its heart."

Last week Land Securities celebrated the topping out of Bankside 2 & 3 which are due for completion next June.

Next summer the Design Museum will stage a major exhibition of Hadid's work.

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