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Ando triumphs over Zaha in Venice head-to-head

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Zaha Hadid has lost out to fellow international star Tadao Ando in the high-profile battle to design a new gallery in Venice.

The two world-famous architects were appointed to rival bids vying to convert and expand the famed 17th-century Customs House (Punta della Dogana) site at the end of the Grand Canal (Zaha and Ando go head-to-head in Venice).

Hadid had been appointed by the ever-expanding Solomon R Guggenheim Foundation to mastermind its proposals, while French billionaire Francois Pinault had again turned to Ando for his scheme - the pair had famously worked together on a failed contemporary-art gallery project in Paris.

However, the collaboration between the ultra-rich Frenchman and the Japanese star finally looks to have borne fruit in Venice after the authorities threw out the Guggenheim submission.

According to sources in Venice City Hall - which is granting the leasehold of the Punta della Dogana - the Guggenheim bid failed because it was 'incomplete'.

It is understood the foundation had not included any information about the list of permanent works which would be housed at the new museum.

At one point during the long-running saga over the site, it appeared Hadid and Ando would have to work together on the future proposals. It soon became clear, though, that a collaboration would be 'unrealistic' - despite the pair working alongside each other for the Guggenheim on the foundation's Saadiyat Island scheme in Abu Dhabi.

by Richard Waite

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