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Foreign Office Architects is music to BBC's ears

Foreign Office Architects (FOA) has won the commission for the BBC's new music centre at White City, west London.

The London-based practice beat three rivals - Future Systems, Ushida Findlay and Zaha Hadid Architects.

The centre, branded the Music Box, is due to open in 2006, housing the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the BBC Symphony Chorus, the BBC Concert Orchestra and the BBC Singers.

It includes two studios for rehearsal, recording and live performances.

'FOA's vision was the most exciting and innovative interpretation of what the BBC wanted, ' said John Smith, the corporation's director of finance, property and business affairs. 'Their design majors on openness with emphasis on public space.'

FOA and the other firms had to submit designs twice, after the judging panel decided earlier this year that their original proposals were too expensive. Dutch practice MVRDV was also initially shortlisted but was excluded after the first stage of the competition.

The 11 judges included Alan Yentob, BBC director of drama, entertainment and CBBC, and Roly Keating, the controller of BBC Four.

The centre will be financed and built by the BBC's property partnership with Land Securities Trillium.

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