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Zaha misses out as Nouvel walks away with new Orchestre de Paris home - images

Zaha Hadid has narrowly missed out on another major cultural project after Jean Nouvel walked off with the high-profile contest to design a new orchestra hall in Paris.

The 61-year-old French starchitect was picked from a six-strong shortlist, which included Christian de Portzamparc, to mastermind the prestigious 200 million euro (£135 million) Philharmonie de Paris in the city's famous Parc de Villette.

Almost 100 architects from across the globe entered the competition to design a new 20,000m2, 2,400-seat venue which will become the new home for the Orchestre de Paris - currently based at the Salle Pleyel.

Clad in aluminium, Nouvel's proposals include multi-level terraces arranged in a 'vineyard style', meaning that none of the audience is ever more than 30m away from the conductor.

The Philharmonie victory is the latest in a line of cultural triumphs for Nouvel in Paris, who hasalready worked on the Institut du Monde Arabe - which opened in 1987 - and the Musée du Quai Branly which completed last summer.

The Frenchman has also been chosen, alongside Hadid, to design part of the Solomon R Guggenheim Saadiyat Island cultural district project ( Hadid to build new arts complex in Abu Dhabi).

The Philharmonie de Paris is expected to open its doors in 2012.

by Richard Waite

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