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Foundation reveals 'blueprints' for city living

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The aj can this week exclusively reveal the Architecture Foundation's shortlisted and invited entries in its two-stage international ideas competition on visionary urban housing - 'Living in the City: an Urban Renaissance'.

Sponsored by British Steel in collaboration with Railtrack, the Peabody Trust and Manhattan Loft Corporation, the competition concerned the Railtrack- owned site of the Bishopsgate Goodsyard in London's Tower Hamlets, E1. More than 360 applicants were asked to design for the site in order to promote living in the city, reduce economic and social isolation and create a better quality of life for all local people, of which 88 submitted designs. It was endorsed as a demonstration project by the government's Urban Task Force led by Lord Rogers and was also intended to showcase the use of high-density housing on brownfield sites.

The Foundation invited Alsop and Stormer, Helmut Richter, Hamzah Yeang, Horden Cherry Lee, mvrdv, Renzo Piano, Ian Ritchie and West 8. The shortlisted teams are Arthur Collin Architects, Cartwright Pickard, DCA-B Architects, Group for Architecture and Bryant Priest Newman. All the practices were given £5000 to work their schemes up.

Judges of the competition, including Rogers, Herbert Girardet, Piers Gough, Harry Handelsman and Dickon Robinson, will announce a winner and two runners up when the schemes are exhibited in a new show at London's Design Museum, starting on 1 February. The Foundation said there will probably be a series of category winners, and at least one of the practices will end up working on a real scheme to be built for either Handelsman's Manhattan Loft Corporation, Robinson's Peabody Trust, or both.

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