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Elite lining up to redesign World Trade Center site

The cream of the world's architectural community - including Daniel Libeskind, Tadao Ando, Massimiliano Fuksas, Mario Botta and Brits Lord Foster, Sir Nicholas Grimshaw and Zaha Hadid - have entered the competition to redesign the site of the World Trade Center towers in New York.

They are included in a list, obtained by the AJ, of 404 firms that have replied to the request for qualification in what is becoming the most talked about design competition on the planet. Eighteen practices from the UK have put their names forward, including BA London Eye designer Marks Barfield Architects, John McAslan & Partners and Future Systems. And Alsop Architects and Ian Simpson are other UK firms which want to be a part of the Manhattan rebuilding plans to commemorate 11 September, which include a memorial, tall structure to restore the spirit of the city, a new street grid, commercial space, housing and cultural elements.

International names on the list include the giant Woods Bagot from Malaysia and T R Hamzah & Yeang, famous for building its own range of 'bioclimatic towers'. Other famous practices include Bernard Tschumi Architects from New York, Philip Johnson - Alan Ritchie Architects, SOM, Arquitectonica, Diller and Scofidio, Richard Meier, plus an unusual joint effort from Shigeru Ban, Frederic Schwartz, Ken Smith and Rafael Viñoly.

Not surprisingly many of the applications come from New York - a total of 112 - with more than 250 from the US as a whole. Some 37 per cent of the applications are from outside the US - from as far afield as Brazil, China, Israel and Lesotho.

The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, which is running the competition, expects to shortlist five teams next week, all of whom will receive an honorarium of more than £26,000 to work up their plans. A final decision will be made next year.

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