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Animal magic on show at the V&A

'Zoomorphic', an exhibition inspired by animals, will bring together some of the world's most bizarre buildings by some of its best known architects. The V&A show will include Frank Gehry's surreal whale-on-stilts hotel and leisure complex for the Barcelona Olympic Games.

However, this is small fry compared with a competition design by Birds Portchmouth Russum that stretches along the coast at Morecambe and is based on shrimps.

'Not since the emergence of Art Nouveau a century ago has there been such an eruption of buildings inspired by the natural world, 'said a V&A spokesman. 'New building materials and computer-design software have made possible this generation of buildings.'

Also on show will be an unbuilt Jamaican beach-house design by Michael Sorkin Studio symbolising a stingray; Santiago Calatrava's Milwaukee Art Museum, which rises up like a bird with outstretched wings;

and Foster and Partners'Swiss Re HQ in London, which 'resembles sea sponges in appearance, structure and ventilation'.

Architectural models, sketches and photos will go on display between 18 September and 4 January alongside stuffed animals lent by the Natural History Museum.

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