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Laban dance centre scheme for Herzog & de Meuron


Swiss practice Herzog & de Meuron has won the international competition to design a new Laban Centre for dance, on an unglamorous site at Deptford Creek, South London.

The win is the second major London project for the practice after the Tate Gallery of Modern Art at Bankside. It had to beat off stiff competition from a shortlist of David Chipperfield Architects, Enric Miralles, Peter Zumthor, Scogin, Elam & Bray and Tony Fretton and yrm. Frank Gehry pulled out at an earlier stage. The new building will include a 300-seat dance theatre, studios, a therapy centre, cafe and community facilities.

The architect said it encouraged the complexity of Laban's current home in Lewisham to create 'an autonomous, landmark object that links the elements of the site, St Paul's Church, the Creek, and the new Laban Garden and thus exert a new integrating force'.

The scheme design will be worked up until May next year, when a lottery and planning application will be made. Construction is intended to start on site in November 1999 for an opening in 2001.

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