The illustrious job of carrying out the first detailed design elements of Westminster City Council's World Squares for All project could end up going to a practice other than Foster and Partners, after the authority placed an advertisement in the Official Journal last week.
The council is looking for both designers and project managers for Trafalgar Square, including Northumberland Avenue, StMartin's Place, the north end of Whitehall and what it is calling the 'hinterland' to the north and south. An official in Westminster City Council's planning department said the job involved initial design - including civil engineering, traffic engineering and architecture, based on Foster's masterplan proposal - and a second stage preparing detailed design and overseeing its implementation.
But he added that although the authority was obliged to advertise projects of this magnitude - over £4 million - it was a realistic call for architectural practices to come forwards. 'Foster and Partners will have to apply again if, indeed, they are still interested in this project,' he said. 'It's not really up their street.'
A spokesperson for Foster and Partners said the practice was undecided as to whether or not it would enter. Extraordinarily, the advertisement in the oj notes that the masterplan is available for purchase by sending the practice £40. Applications are requested by 5 October. For details tel: 0171 641 2666.