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Hackney calls for competition for drawings collections

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riba's honorary librarian Rod Hackney wants a two-stage international competition to decide on an architect for a new 10,000m2 building in Kensington to act as the home of the v&a and riba's combined drawings collections. It could open in six years' time.

The interim agreement is that the institute's £350 million special collections will transfer to the museum's Exhibition Road main London home.

The cleared site is on Blythe Road in Kensington near Baron's Court tube station - the riba and v&a would each need around 3000m2 inside the new joint venture, with 2000-4000m2 left for growth.

In the meantime MJ Long - the v&a's house architect - has been appointed, along with consultant Sandy Wilson, to prepare a feasibility study on how much space is required for the newly named riba collections in the Henry Cole wing of the V&A.

The landlord of the Moreland Street site in which part of the collections are stored is offering a cash incentive if riba moves out early. The landlord's first offer - of around £100,000-£150,000 - is on the table if the institute moves out before December 31 2001, a year earlier than it is legally obliged to vacate. But substantial dilapidations payments are likely - in respect of the Heinz Gallery when the Drawings Collection moves out.

David Taylor

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