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Ole Scheeren to make UK debut with new £130m BFI headquarters

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Ex-OMA star Ole Scheeren is set to build his first scheme in the UK - the British Film Institute’s (BFI) new £130m headquarters on London’s South Bank

The AJ understands the 41-year old, who spent 15 years working with Rem Koolhaas at the Office for Metropolitan Architecture before setting up Buro Ole Scheeren in 2010, is part of the Thai property team chosen for the high-profile job.

Earlier this week the BFI confirmed to the AJ’s sister title Construction News that it had selected Bangkok-based Pace Development Corp as its preferred bidder to fund, design and construct the project.

The BFI has planned to build a new home on the site of the nearby Hungerford car park for nearly a decade, but has so far been unable to secure funding for the scheme.

Pace Developments has offered to provide £87 million for the project, as well as providing full design, build and partial fit-out.

In return it is understood the company will receive full naming rights for the building, exclusivity of food and beverage sales in the venue, and partial repayment of the funding over a period of time.

It is believed famous New York-based food brand Dean & DeLuca, whose name has appeared in a number of US films including the 2001 hit Hannibal, is also working on the bid.

Scheeren, who won in 2015 the World Architecture Festival with a housing scheme in Singapore, has already worked with Dean & DeLuca on a new chef-led fast food concept, a prototype of which was showcased at the Design Miami 2016.

Last May, it emerged that the British Film Institute had received an £87 million funding proposal from a mystery investor to support the project.

At the time the BFI said that the investor could not be named because of laws around public procurement and the fact that there could be another investor.

But according to recent OJEU documentation, the Pace Developments bid is the only one currently being considered by the BFI.

The development of the institute’s new home would be the first foray into the UK market for the luxury property and hospitality developer.

The developer is one of the biggest in Thailand, and is currently developing the £408 million MahaNakorn in Bangkok, the country’s largest tower and also designed by Scheeren.

The company has begun to expand globally over the past few years. It is developing projects in Japan and America.

The new BFI centre, which is scheduled to open in 2022, would be part of the 6,500m² Jubilee Gardens development on the Thames riverside and is expected to feature subterranean auditoria.

In October 2009, then prime minister Gordon Brown pledged £45m to the BFI to build a centre on the site of the Hungerford car park.

However, as coalition culture secretary, Jeremy Hunt removed the funding in 2010 as part of deficit reduction measures.

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