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V&A stalls on final Pirelli selection

The Victoria and Albert Museum has delayed a decision on its Pirelli garden competition, sending three of the shortlisted practices back to the drawing board.

The V&A has deferred a final decision on the winning scheme to overhaul its Italianate courtyard until January, after the original six designs all fell short of expectations.

Kim Wilkie Associates, Gustafson Porter and Adriaan Geuze for West 8 have now entered a second stage of the competition in order to refine their proposals.

Jury member Charles Jencks said that those schemes were good, but needed further development.

'Maybe it was naive to suppose there would be a fully developed scheme at that stage, ' he said.

However, Christopher Bradley-Hole, one of the original six shortlisted along with American landscape designers Martha Schwartz and the Olin Partnership, questioned the adequacy of the competition brief.

'I find it difficult to reconcile the decision made with the brief set for the competition, ' he said.

A specific element of the brief was the creation of sufficient cafe and restaurant space, he said, and yet it was clear 'that a certain member of the jury was demanding a lawn'.

'It's significant they chose the only two schemes that included a lawn - which wasn't specified, ' he added. Bradley-Hole's proposal envisaged a new lower level to house extensive catering facilities.

In a short statement, the V&A claimed the brief was 'fine but challenging'. It also confirmed it would be paying the three practices for their additional work, but refused to release any details of how the brief had changed.

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