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Hadid is not right for Architecture Foundation


Our architectural practice, along with 200 other eager applicants, entered the Architecture Foundation's (AF) building design competition recently. Like other small 'unknown' practices, we were encouraged to read in the competition brief that the AF 'have no prejudices as to the? fame or experience of the eventual winner'. Disappointment is the word to describe the selection that has been made to go to shortlist.

Although there are two relatively unknown practices on the shortlist, the remaining practices read like an alumni of architectural has-beens and fashionable hacks. I would cite the inclusion of Zaha Hadid and Bernard Tschumi as bordering on the ridiculous for a project of this scale and locality.

I am not arguing that these practices are not allowed to enter smaller competitions, or that their entries were not good. I do want to know, however, how an architect like Hadid could have possibly ended up in the running when the submission requirements called only for one illustrated past project and a small selection of previous projects. I would question the level of care and sensitivity a practice such as Hadid's could bring to this 600m 2 building on a corner site in Southwark.

Disillusioned young architect, via email

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