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Pawson Williams Architects has won an international competition to design a striking linear block in one of Sweden's most important public squares, a cross between Oxford Street and Trafalgar Square. It beat Richard Rogers Partnership and Ralph Erskine to land the project for a cultural centre and flats in Stockholm's Sergels Torg. The eight-storey building will be 130m long and have cafes, shops and offices on the ground floor. These will lead up to around 50 flats, arts and cultural spaces, still to be decided along with costs and start dates after talks with the client, the local council. The project may include below-ground spaces such as a performance area with raked seats. The architects will also draw up an urban strategy. The square was built in the 1960s and is flooded with traffic from main roads. A lair of dark subways have become crime havens and an underground carpark and station, which the architects will also look at improving, are dingy bunker-like areas. Terry Pawson said: 'This is not just about providing x amount of floor space. We have to improve the impact of the square and look at issues of circulation and qualities of experience. The council is keen to change the nature of the city and encourage people back to live in the heart of the capital.'

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