The shortlisted architect teams for the national stadium project at Wembley had to have an extraordinary qualification to be eligible: annual fees of at least £22 million. The Sports Council insisted that the practice teams should have a turnover of at least ten per cent of the projected cost of the project, currently estimated at £220 million.
The shortlist comprises: Arup Associates (which could point to the fees of the Ove Arup Partnership); a team led by Sir Michael Hopkins & Partners; and Foster & Partners/HOK/Lobb Partnership. The biggest-earning practice of these is Foster's, which recorded £19 million in its last full year.
The stringent financial condition ruled out several smaller firms with excellent design records. One sports lottery observer told the AJ:
'When the French designed their World Cup stadium they picked a team which had never designed a stadium before, and after a design competition.
The facilities managers here said there was no time to hold one, not even a limited one.'
SCOTTISH PARLIAMENT SHORTLIST
Ahrends Burton and Koralek with Behnisch, Behnisch and Partner, (London/Stuttgart) Allies and Morrison, (London) Benson and Forsyth, (London & Edinburgh) Glass Murray Architects/Denton Corker Marshall, (Glasgow/Melbourne) Groep Planning, (Bruges) Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates/Elder and Cannon, (New York/London/Glasgow) Peter Kulka Architect/McNeish Design Partnership, (Cologne/Glasgow) Richard Meier and Partners/Keppie Design Associated Architects, (New York/Glasgow) Enric Miralles, (Barcelona) Rafael Vinoly Architects, (New York) Narud Stokke Wiig (Oslo) Michael Wilford and Partners (London)