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Cash windfall kickstarts Nobel HQ contest

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The contest to design a new headquarters for the Nobel Prize in Stockholm will be re-started next week thanks to a SEK800 million (£78m) donation

Shortlisted architects including UK-based David Chipperfield and Swiss stars Herzog & de Meuron will attend a seminar on the Nobel Center scheme on Friday 14 June.

Twelve practices were shortlisted in March by an evaluation committee set up by client the Nobel Foundation. But the beginning of the contest was dependent on the scheme securing a large chunk of funding.

Now donations from the Erling-Persson Family Foundation, which is supported by the founders of the H&M clothes chain, and the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation have allowed the client to begin proceedings.

A winner will be announced next spring, with the building scheduled for opening in December 2018.

Nobel Foundation executive director Lars Heikensten said: ‘With this donation, the two foundations are showing their commitment and support for projects that will promote the dissemination of knowledge.

‘The Nobel Center is an important investment in the future of Stockholm. A strong home base will also enhance the ability of the Nobel system to develop internationally.’

The building will contain public rooms for exhibitions, scientific conferences, meetings and events, as well as a library, restaurant, café and shop. It is aimed to become one of Stockholm’s main attractions. 

The 12 shortlisted practices:

  • Kim Herforth Nielsen – 3XN, Denmark
  • Bjarke Ingels and David Zahle – BIG, Denmark
  • David Chipperfield – David Chipperfield Architects, England/Germany
  • Jaque Herzog, Pierre de Meuron and Ascan Mergenthaler – Herzog & de Meuron, Switzerland
  • Johan Celsing – Johan Celsing Arkitektkontor, Sweden
  • Anne Lacaton and Jean-Philippe Vassal – Lacaton & Vassal Architectes, France
  • Lene Tranberg – Lundgaard & Tranberg Arkitekter, Denmark
  • Marcel Meili and Markus Peter – Marcel Meili, Markus Peter Architekten, Switzerland
  • Rem Koolhaas and Ellen van Loon – OMA, Netherlands           
  • Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa – SANAA, Japan
  • Kjetil Thorsen – Snøhetta, Norway                                              
  • Gert Wingårdh – Wingårdhs arkitekter, Sweden
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