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Koetter Kim triumphs in Sheffield masterplan job

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Koetter Kim & Associates has won the competition to masterplan the centre of Sheffield and provide a strategy for the Yorkshire city over the next 10 to 15 years. The selection is a snub to Urban Task Force mastermind Lord Rogers, whose practice had also entered the competition and was recently awarded the masterplanning contract for Newcastle's west end (AJ 8.6.00).

Koetter Kim plans to expand the city centre's connections to the east of the city and wants to improve the city centre retail environment to compete with out of town complexes.

'We're looking to bring more definition and more energy to the centre of the city and we need to get pedestrians on a par with cars, ' said partner in the US-based practice Fred Koetter. The practice will prepare competition guidelines for the city's new regeneration company, Sheffield One, to run architectural contests for key buildings. About £40 million alone is due to be spent on infrastructure projects. Private money will be sought for the majority of the new buildings.

'The Koetter Kim team has the vision and flair to make Sheffield once more a leading European city, ' said the chairman of Sheffield One, Sir Peter Middleton.

Besides the Richard Rogers Partnerships, Koetter Kim beat consortia featuring Buro Happold, RTKL, MacCormac Jamieson Prichard and Rick Mather Architects.'I feel very good about the win and the most dramatic thing was that we were only interviewed one day before we heard we had won, ' Koetter said. The project is the practice's first masterplanning brief outside London, where it has worked at Canary Wharf and Surrey Quays.The Sheffield masterplan will be complete by October.

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