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CABE plans competition for new-build headquarters

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The Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment is planning to stage an architectural competition for a new exemplary headquarters building it hopes to construct and move into as part of its long-term plans.

cabe chief executive Richard Butt told the aj last week that the commission wants ultimately to take space in premises purpose-built to represent the best of British architecture. Although funding could be a problem for a body with such a limited budget, the competition will almost certainly be limited only to British firms, possibly with a competitive interview element.

'We feel that this should be a prestigious piece of architecture which reflects our commitment to good modern architecture,' said Butt.

The commission is currently based in the former home of the Royal Fine Art Commission at the grand, Lutyens-designed, 7 St James' Square but its formal tenancy of St James' ended at Christmas. cabe is set to leave the building in the coming months, and is in discussions with another Central London building owner about taking a four or five year lease as an interim arrangement while it formulates its competition plans and searches for a suitable permanent hq site in the capital. Butt refused to reveal details of the interim building for fear of affecting the negotiations but a deal should be signed within two or three weeks.

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