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Nouvel beats Chippo in Spanish harbour competition -

Jean Nouvel has pipped David Chipperfield in the competition to redesign Vigo harbour in north-west Spain.

The French starchitect, who is already famous in Spain for his Torre Agbar in Barcelona, will mastermind a massive 288 million euro overhaul of the Atlantic port.

At the heart of the contest-winning proposals is a 90m-tall hotel building, described as a 'luminous monolith', which will sit at the end of a revamped wharf for transatlantic cruiseliners.

Other features include a huge steel footbridge, eight residential blocks and a 'Garden of the Tides', which will partially flood every day.

Chipperfield's second-place scheme (pictured below), which netted the practice an impressive 60,000 euros in prize money, also featured a high-rise tower.

Chipperfield's 160-m tall skyscraper was to be built on a new pier/marina behind the main ferry terminal - a 'mast-like tower' surrounded by a hub of lower buildings reminiscent of the America's Cup building in Valencia.

The scheme would have housed a spa, hotel, residential units and a new viewing platform.

Officials hope the first phase of the ambitious Nouvel development will open in 2010.

by Richard Waite

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