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Finalists named for Deal Pier - image

Niall McLaughlin Architects is among four finalists shortlisted in the competition to redesign the café at the end of Deal Pier in Kent.

The London-based firm will battle it out with Block Architecture, Feix & Merlin and Glowacka Rennie Architects to win the contest which attracted more than 80 expressions of interests from across Europe.

Entrants were asked to come up with a 'high-quality, innovative, striking design' to encourage visitors onto the pier.

The scheme forms part of the ongoing overhaul of the pier by Dover District Council which, it is hoped, will be complete in 2007 to coincide with the pier's golden jubilee.

RIBA adviser Robert Sakula, of Ash Sakula Architects, was on hand to help members of Deal Town Council, the Deal Historical Society and the district council whittle down the sackful of entries to just four finalists.

Sakula said: 'I am delighted that the project attracted such a large response from some very high-quality designers.

'Shortlisting was extremely difficult, but I am confident that the four practices selected will come up with some exciting and interesting solutions to the renovation of the café-bar'.

In the last week of April the public will be able to comment on the design proposals when they are displayed anonymously in Deal.

An eventual winner is expected to be chosen in May and, subject to a successful planning application, construction work on the project could start as early as October.

by Richard Waite

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