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Foster aims to join fellow starchitects on Abu Dhabi's 'culture island'

Foster & Partners could be about to join the growing Who's Who of architecture working on the Saadiyat Island cultural district in Abu Dhabi.

The firm has been shortlisted in a competition to design the new Sheikh Zayed National Museum - the latest in a line of huge arts projects earmarked for the site designed by the likes of Jean Nouvel, Frank Gehry and Zaha Hadid (Trio of starchitects joins Zaha in Abu Dhabi).

The other practices on the shortlist are: Shigeru Ban; Bernard Tschumi; Atelier Christian de Portzamparc; AN Tombazis & Associates; Eisenman Architects; Dar-Al Omran; Hans Hollein Architekt; Mario Bellini Associati; M Fuksas Arch; Moriyama & Teshima Architects; Ricardo Bofill; and Snøhetta.

Covering 12,000m2, the Sheikh Zayed National Museum will house five galleries 'devoted to UAE heritage and environment' and also an education centre, theatre, shops and a café.

The judging panel includes Farshid Moussavi, founding partner of Foreign Office and Peter Wilson, the director of the Royal Shakespeare Company's recent redevelopment.

by Richard Waite

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