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Big names to battle it out for plum Edinburgh revamp

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Twelve high-profile practices are competing for the chance to redesign a section of Edinburgh's historic Princes Street.

Allies and Morrison Architects, Rick Mather Architects, Richard Murphy Architects and Jeremy Dixon. Edward Jones are among those shortlisted to regenerate the Princes Street Gallery and surrounding streetscape. The list will be whittled down to four or five in September and a final choice will be made in December, with a planning application submitted in late 2003.

The RIAS-run competition, for Dutch property company MAB and local-based EDI Group, calls for candidates to explore ideas for the revamp of the gallery at the east end of Princes Street. Solutions must contribute to the regeneration of the entire area, which lies within a World Heritage Site.

Barbara Kelly, chair of the judging panel and former chair of the ARB, stressed that the candidates should draw on European models for regeneration.

'The architectural brief sets the challenge of creating new ideas for a development which can successfully and sensitively integrate the scheme into the existing city centre, ' Kelly said. 'Examples of major cities worldwide, such as Lyon, Paris, Barcelona and Strasbourg, demonstrate the innovative use of public space that has successfully integrated vehicles and pedestrians. The challenge within the architectural brief is to create an inclusive environment.'

Judges also include Rab Bennetts and David Mackay.

The shortlist comprises: Alan Murray Architects;

Allies and Morrison Architects; Jeremy Dixon.

Edward Jones; Elder & Cannon; Erick Van Egeraat Associated Architects; Gareth Hoskins Architects; Jo Coenen Architects; Lifschutz Davidson; Narud Stokke Wiig; Page and Park Architects; Richard Murphy Architects; and Rick Mather Architects.

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