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Zaha, Chipperfield, Alsop and Coates for Venice


The British Council is trying to salvage its plans for the Venice Biennale by asking Zaha Hadid, David Chipperfield Architects and Branson Coates to take part in a four-practice show along with Alsop and Stormer. The council's Andrea Rose held urgent talks with the practices last week following her decision to drop the original plans for the exhibition, 'London goes East' - on the regenerational impact of the Jubilee Line Extension (aj 2.03.00). Now the show will highlight the practices' work but it is unclear at this stage how the five rooms will be designated. The council confirmed the architects as the aj went to press, but Rose said that unlike the previous plan, no private sponsorship will be involved. 'It'll show the most cultural aspects of British architecture at the moment,' she said. Doug Branson of Branson Coates said his practice had had some ideas but was waiting to see the full terms of the offer - including the budget - and how many firms would be taking part. Alsop and Stormer architect Christoph Egret said: 'All I can tell you is that it's on the cards and I know that we will be offered a place to exhibit. In our case it will try to be sympathetic to the title of 'the city': less aesthetics more ethics - we might go for something very minimalist.' But Egret added that he was disappointed for Roland Paoletti, advisor to the Biennale on content. 'I know he wanted to celebrate in his own country the glory of the Jubilee Line,' he said.The original plan, drawn up by Alsop and Stormer, included elaborate proposals to commission new perspex models of all 11 of the stations, but it failed to attract any sponsorship.

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