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Alsop & Stormer beats big names in £33m contest

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Alsop & Stormer is planning to shake up the design of science research buildings with its latest commission, the £33 million Queen Mary's Medical and Dental School in Whitechapel, east London.

The practice beat the Richard Rogers Partnership, Zaha Hadid, Wilkinson Eyre, Wilson Mason, Rick Mather Architects and Anshen Dyer in a competitive interview.

'If we develop an arrangement where laboratories are open plan, different disciplines would start talking to each other, ' said project architect, Christophe Egret. 'A dull building will create a dull scientist which will create dull science.'

Project manager Julian Robinson said that the winning scheme included 'animation, colour and personality', and that he wants the public to see science taking place inside the building. The brief called for a 'dazzling' design.

Alsop & Stormer is working with Amec Design and will submit a planning application in June. Work is scheduled to start on site in spring 2002.

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