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End of the line for Alsop as Crossrail picks John McAslan

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Crossrail has replaced Alsop Architects with John McAslan + Partners as designer of the line's Paddington station.

Backers of the long-awaited project - to produce an eastwest underground rail link from Paddington to Liverpool Street - say the brief has changed 'enormously in the past decade' and 'needs a fresh approach'.

But Will Alsop, who was originally appointed for Paddington in the early '90s, has condemned the decision, arguing that he should have won 'another go at the scheme'. 'We really wanted to design this project as we have put our heart and soul into the scheme, ' he said. 'I do not understand why Crossrail has not allowed us to bring our large station design knowledge base to bear on this scheme.'

However, Crossrail's head of architecture and urbanism, Michael McCretton, dismissed the complaints. 'We reviewed the project, and we talked to Alsop about its earlier designs, but Crossrail has moved on 10 years and we needed a new outlook. We picked McAslan because of his recent work at King's Cross, ' he said.

Crossrail is currently awaiting a decision on the scheme's future from transport secretary Alistair Darling. He is considering a business case that puts the project cost at between £7 and £10 billion, before giving it the government's support.

John McAslan would not comment as the practice's appointment is not yet official.

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