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The shortlisting of Foreign Office Architects and Rafael Vinoly for the South Bank Jubilee Gardens competition has added piquancy to the story of the Rick Mather masterplan. Poor old Adriaan Geuze of West 8, originally picked to design the scheme. His ideas helped redefine the brief, which meant an OJEC reference, which resulted in him recompeting, but alas failing.

One hopes that the pair of architects chosen to draw up new plans will pay proper attention to the covenants attaching to the Shell Centre immediately behind the site. These prevent any interference with views, and on the face of it seem to rule out the Mather raised-gardens proposition. Absolute clarity is required on this point if a shambles is to be avoided.

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