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Quartet battles it out to succeed Pugin

Four of Britain's most promising young practices have been shortlisted in the competition to design a new country house hotel on the site of E W Pugin's now-demolished Croston Hall in Lancashire.

London-based firms Softroom, Featherstone Associates, Riches Hawley Mikhail Architects and baca will now battle it out to win the dream job of creating a 20-25 bedroom hotel on the rural plot outside Chorley, near Preston.

The original Croston Hall was built in 1857 for the de Trafford family, but was flattened in 1964.

According to the competition brief, the victorious design will have to 'respond harmoniously, but not necessarily conventionally, to this exceptional location' which is surrounded by woodland.

The RIBA-organised competition attracted 66 expressions of interests from around the world and the unnamed client is believed to have been 'delighted by the response'.

All four practices will be asked to present their final design to the judging panel, which includes former RIBA president George Ferguson, towards the end of November.

by Richard Waite

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