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Will Alsop told the rias convention that he is now a 'community architect' and is working on a major scheme at the Stonebridge estate in North London. The practice has worked with local residents in workshops on preparing a £10 million scheme involving a new supermarket, health centre, 18 apartments and a community centre. 'It's all about stealing their ideas, really,' he told the audience. 'We redraw all their ideas and explain it back and in the end they like it.' Having worked on the project on stages A and B, however, the practice is now having to put in a bid against its own brief to proceed. Alsop and Stormer was on the shortlist for the wider £100 million masterplanning job for the 30ha job on the estate five years ago when Shepheard Epstein Hunter/Terence O'Rourke was chosen. The appointment was controversial at the time and led to a group of black architects called Team Six denouncing the commission as racist and putting forward a rival scheme (aj 19.10.95). Alsop said last week that he had entered 'a new phase' in community architecture, as a result of his work at West Bromwich with the c/PLEX scheme. And Alsop added that he learned an extraordinary lesson when a local told a visiting planner 'hey you, f*** off, this is our building, our money and we want it.'

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