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Zaha misses out on Swiss casino jackpot

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Plans for a Zaha Hadid-designed casino in Basel, Switzerland, have been torpedoed after local residents voted to ditch the scheme.

Hadid won an invited competition to design the Neus Stadt-Casino- which would also have housed a new city concert hall - back in 2005.

However, under Swiss planning rules the public has the right to decide the fate of large projects that involve public spending.

And, unfortunately for the Iraqi-born architect and her team, 62 per cent of Basel's residents - around 36,000 people - decided they didn't want the huge PPP -funded scheme.

In a statement, the practice said it was 'very disappointed' at the cancellation and added:

'As a public-private partnership in terms of funding, the client had managed very successfully to fund half of the capital costs for the project along with obtaining the backing of the City and Canton governments for the project.

'However a political opposition alliance called for a public referendum on allocating public funds to the project with the result that the opposition won the vote. As a result the project is cancelled and the funds raised returned to the donors.'

by Max Thompson

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