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Fourth Grace failure blamed as Alsop closes Dutch office

The collapse of the controversial 'Cloud' project was one of the key factors that led to the closure of Alsop Architects' Rotterdam office.

Open for less than four years, the Dutch office had been hoping to begin work on the long-awaited Fourth Grace development.

However, with the ditching of the Liverpool project - which coincided with the completion of a major scheme in the Netherlands - it was felt that it was no longer commercially viable to keep on the office's 11 staff.

Eight of the team have now been made redundant and only two have been redeployed, in China. The other has emigrated to Canada.

A spokesman for Will Alsop said: 'It was a rational business decision that made sense at the time. The Fourth Grace was going to be dealt with by the Rotterdam office and there is not as much work in the Netherlands now that the Almere project has come to an end.

'There is no view of moving an office back into Europe as we are trying to develop into China and Toronto and concentrate on one office in each zone, ' he added.

The ongoing work in Europe will be dealt with from London, which includes the firm's massive Mauritsweg mixed-use development in Rotterdam and a housing project in Groningen.

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