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Zaha Hadid to design Architecture Foundation building

London SE1 website team

Baghdad-born Zaha Hadid has won the international competition to design the Architecture Foundation's new centre for architecture to be built in Southwark Street.

Centre for Architecture by Zaha Hadid
Zaha Hadid's winning design

A free public exhibition revealing the winning design for the 2.25 million freestanding building in Southwark from the eight-strong shortlist of diverse international talent, will run until 23 January at The Ragged School, 47 Union Street.

Tate director Sir Nicholas Serota announced the winning design at an event at The Ragged School on Wednesday night.

The foundation says that the new centre for architecture will be a place of energy, creative ideas and activity where the public can engage with the best contemporary architecture. Due to open in 2006 on the corner of Southwark Street and Great Guildford Street, the building will be the new home of the Architecture Foundation and will house exhibition space, events space, offices and a bar.

Centre for Architecture site
What the site looks like now

The building and the competition to design it have been made possible with sponsorship from Land Securities, the company behind the Bankside123 development being constructed on the former St Christopher House site.

It is claimed that Zaha Hadid's scheme will set the highest standard of design, creating dramatic and engaging architecture that will take The Architecture Foundation's programme and mission to a new level. The building, formed by a solid concrete ribbon wrapped around a full height glazed space at its centre, combines an emphatic presence and form with visual permeability and public accessibility, says the Architecture Foundation.

The new centre for architecture is set to be the first built project in London for the much acclaimed, London-based Hadid. Born in Baghdad and educated at the Architectural Association Hadid's contribution to architecture was recognised in 2004, when she became the first woman to win the Pritzker Prize.

T shortlist featured both well known, established names and emerging new practices, all of whom are yet to complete a major building in London: a-Graft, AOC, Caruso St John, Foreign Office Architects, Lacaton & Vassal, MVRDV and Bernard Tschumi, as well as Zaha Hadid.

Over 200 submissions were received from some 20 countries for the open international competition to design the new building, which was launched by the Architecture Foundation and Land Securities in October of last year.

Rowan Moore, director of the Architecture Foundation, commented: "Any of the eight short listed designs would have made a great building and the jury was particularly impressed by the winning and second placed schemes. Zaha Hadid won because of the way her design encompassed the range of spaces required by the brief, and made them into a convincing architectural whole. It is a powerful, not to say unmissable building, but one that also allows for quieter and more intimate spaces. In particular her design responds to the social qualities we are looking for in the new centre. Her design is also a brilliant response to a challenging site, surrounded by large buildings.”"

"In recent years Southwark has become a beacon for exciting, modern architecture and I am delighted that someone as talented and as visionary as Zaha Hadid has been selected to join the long list of outstanding contemporary architects to have worked in the borough," commented Paul Evans, director of regeneration at Southwark Council.

The jury, chaired by Rowan Moore, Director of the Architecture Foundation, consisted of Will Alsop, Chairman of the Architecture Foundation and Palestra architect; 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; and Sir Nicholas Serota, Director of the Tate Gallery.

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