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Going strong

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An amazing scheme, the Barcelona Forum project (five times as big as the city's Olympic village), was presented by its architecture director, Carlos Teixidor. The site lies to the east of central Barcelona in Sant Adria, at the mouth of the Besos river, where the Diagonal meets the sea. New construction will cover a 50ha area, including an 'urban carpet' over the coastal motorway.

Practices as diverse as Foreign Office Architects, Zaha Hadid, Jean Nouvel and Herzog & de Meuron are involved in the project, which is a combination of buildings, landscape, urban design and cultural facilities.The project has been prompted by something called the 'Universal Forum of Cultures', which takes place next year and is intended to be a regular event in the city. The idea is to promote shared ethical values via cultural interchange, providing a counterbalance to globalised economic forces. It also sounds like a hell of a party.

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