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Spam inbox blunder leads to Southbank shortlist rethink

Allies and Morrison has earned a last-minute place on the shortlist to redevelop London’s Southbank Centre after a spam filter meant its application failed to reach organisers in time

The Bankside-based practice – whose overhaul of the Southbank’s Grade I-listed Royal Festival Hall was shortlisted for the 2008 Stirling Prize –requested feedback after an announcement last week appeared to indicate it had failed to make the cut.

The Southbank Centre, replying that no application had been received, later discovered its submission firmly lodged in its spam in tray.

The application was then analyzed ‘on the same basis as all the other submissions’, according to the Southbank Centre, and thereafter an announcement was sent to the press late on Tuesday amending the shortlist to include Allies and Morrison.

The surprise turn of events has left the competition – which focuses on refurbishing the LCC-designed 1968 Queen Elizabeth Hall, Purcell Room and Hayward Gallery complex – with a whopping eight-strong shortlist.

Architecture minister John Penrose’ decision to issue a certificate for immunity from listing to the brutalist structures means contenders – Allies and Morrison, Bennetts Associates, Eric Parry Architects, Fielden Clegg Bradley Studios, Grimshaw, Heneghan Peng, OMA and Van Heyningen and Haward – could have an exciting competition on their hands.

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