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AOC wins South Bank 'parliament' comp - image

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The rise and rise of young guns AOC is continuing apace with news that the practice has landed another significant competition win.

The office - which came second 18 months ago in the Architecture Foundation (AF) headquarters contest - has won the competition to design the new London International Festival of Theatre (Lift) 'parliament', on London's South Bank.

The practice saw off competition from three other shortlisted schemes, to design the temporary structure, which will be the heart of the festival in 2008.

The 'parliament' will act as a meeting place and a focal point for debates and performances during the event.

AOC, who featured in the AJ's 40 Under 40, won the competition despite coming last in a public vote of which of the four shortlisted designs should be built.

But the professional jury decided that the vote was so close - it ranged from 22.5 per cent for AOC to 27.7 per cent for a scheme by public-votewinner Wong Wai Pui - that the AOC scheme should emerge victorious.

The two other design options in the competition, which was organised by the AF, were by Blee & Tite and muf architecture/art with Atelier One.

AOC partner Geoff Shearcroft said: 'We're delighted. This is exactly the type of project we established AOC to do: to explore the potential for people - for all of us - to engage with the design, creation and day-to-day adaptation of the buildings and spaces we use and live in.

'It is a fantastic opportunity to make a beautiful public building with a client, Lift, who is clearly committed to a collaborative and rigorous design conversation,' he added.

by Ed Dorrell

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