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Spaniards see off massive competition to land Tsunami Memorial - image

A group of Spanish architects has landed one of the world's most sought-after design competitions.

The collective - headed up by Ana Somoza and Juana Canet - have landed the commission to design the Tsunami Memorial in Thailand, which follows the 2004 Indian Ocean disaster.

The group saw off competition from 379 expressions of interest from 43 different countries.

Jury chair David Elliott said he'd been impressed by the winning project's 'openness, generosity and ecumenical quality'.

'Its integration of innovative building techniques with the sublime nature of the surrounding national park and shoreline is, we believe, an expression of a universal will to recover from disaster and to develop through mutual learning and collaboration.

'It provides a place of memory, learning and affirmation for the future.'

However, Elliot insisted that the design needed more work: 'We are concerned, however, that the present complexity of the scheme should be simplified, particularly that its inevitable environmental impact should be minimised.

'Ideas for sustainable energy source and services should also be reviewed and developed,' he added.

by Ed Dorrell

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