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The inclusion of Itsuko Hasegawa, the only woman on the list and one of the runners-up in the disaster-bound Cardiff Bay Opera House competition, has drawn praise from several quarters. Michael Parry, head of the Welsh School of Architecture, said that if she won it would send a special message to the world.

Benson and Forsyth and Behnisch Behnisch & Partner have already been shortlisted for the new Scottish parliament.

Generally, the panel's selections have been welcomed. Parry said that the list was very strong and represented 12 of the world's best architects.

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