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Superstars battle it out for a place by the sea

Three teams of world-class architects have revealed their proposals for a prime site on the seafront at Hove in Sussex, writes Zoë Blackler.

Frank Gehry, Richard Rogers Partnership and Wilkinson Eyre Architects are leading the three teams competing for the prestigious job.

Brighton and Hove City Council are driving the £25-30 million project, which will create a state-of-the-art sports centre on the 1.7 hectare King Alfred site.

Sports facilities will include a 25m competition swimming pool, as well as leisure and teaching pools, a large sports hall with space for eight badminton courts, a six-rink indoor bowls hall,80-station gymnasium, workout studio, health suite, crèche and soft play area and a café.

The scheme will also include a landmark development of around 400 flats, to fund the project. In line with council policy,40 per cent of homes will be key worker and affordable housing.The site, almost on the beach, currently comprises a run-down 1930s sports centre and a car park.

Frank Gehry is leading a team that also includes CZWG, HOK Sport and the artist Antony Gormley for developer Karis.Wilkinson Eyre Architects is working with residential specialist Acanthus Lawrence & Wrightson and sports specialist Stephen Limbrick Associates for Barrett Southern Counties and Brunswick Development Group.And Richard Rogers Partnership has teamed up with Arup Associates, S&P Architects and Countryside Properties.A winner will be chosen towards the end of May.

Leader of Brighton and Hove council Ken Bodfish said the plans currently formed 'perhaps the most prestigious coastal development site in Britain', which, he said, was reflected by the quality of bids received and the high-calibre shortlist.

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