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The bank manager will be pleased. Following last year's financial problems, Will Alsop vowed that business would be turned around. This prediction rested heavily on one promise - that his designs would take off in Canada following the success of his stilts in Toronto. He has been proven correct. Not only has he picked up another vast commission in Toronto - for a new film studio - but he's been tipped as the winner of a competition in Edmonton. It will warm your cockles to hear that this wasn't without the help of Zaha Hadid, who was also shortlisted. Apparently those behind the city's new art gallery had publicly stated that they wanted the principals of the last four to turn up for the final presentation. But was this enough encouragement for the diva to make it to the wilds of Canada? It seems not. Astragal also understands that this absence proved a big boost for Will prior to his presentation. Which was nice?

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