An unusual assortment of architects and artists have been shortlisted for the first three sites in the Landmark Wales competition.
Teams including SMC Alsop, Tonkin Liu, Atkins, Ian McChesney and Marks Barfield are among 15 finalists in the contest to design a trio of 'major landmark projects' at key gateways across Wales (see below for full list
Landmark Wales is one of 23 projects in the UK, including three in Wales, vying for a slice of a £140 million cash bonanza available through the Big Lottery Fund's Living Landmarks programme.
The contest attracted 102 expressions of interest from artists and architects based in 16 countries including USA, Spain, Germany, India and Poland.
With budgets ranging from £1 million to £2.5 million, the phase one Landmark Wales schemes have been earmarked for sites at Holyhead Harbour, at the Second Severn Crossing and on the Flintshire border.
Later phases will see competition-winning designs built in Monmouth, Merthyr Tydfil, Rhondda Cynon Taff and Newport.
Project manager of Landmark Wales, Geoff Wood, said: 'The selection panel were impressed with the imagination and design skills of the applicants, their commitment to developing an understanding of what it means to be Welsh, and their interest in making sensitive but dramatic projects that we can all be proud of.'
He added: 'After a thorough but extremely tough decision-making process, 15 artists and design teams have now been chosen. Four of the teams are led by architects or artists from Wales.'
The 15 finalists, which will be paid £5,000 to develop a design proposal, are:Second Severn Crossing SiteAmber Hiscott and David Pearl (artist);SMC Alsop Architects with Arup and Leni Schwendinger (light artist);Janet Echelman (American artist) with Arup;Atelier Brueckner (Stuttgart-based architect);Marks Barfield (architect).Holyhead HarbourAtkins with Howard Bowcott (Welsh artist), Miller Research and Menna Elfyn (poet);Ian Ritchie (architect) with Techniker (engineer);Jonathan Adams (architect) with Alexander Beleschenko (Swansea-based artist);Paul Bradley (designer) with Jaume Plensa (artist);Atelier Seraji (Paris-based architect) with Francosie Schen (artist).Flintshire BorderTonkin Liu (architect) with Atelier One (engineer), Grant Associates Landscape Architects, Penny Grist (artist), Hybrid Graphic Designers, Archineers Environmental Engineers;Acconci Studio Architects and Artists (New York);Patricia Leighton and Del Geist (landscape artist);McGregor Smith (landscape architect) with Richard Harris (artist);Ian McChesney Architects.by Richard Waite