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Foster to usurp Zaha in Australia

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Foster + Partners is in line to take over from Zaha Hadid Architects on a huge waterside development in Melbourne, Australia.

Last week it emerged that Hadid had been asked to stand down on the AUStory text.5 billion (£725 million) Melbourne Docklands project by Middle Eastern developer Sama Dubai.

According to local press, the property investment company has now turned to Foster to bring forward the scheme on the Batman’s Hill precinct site – close to the Lubetkin Prize-winning Southern Cross Station by Grimshaw.

Hadid had originally drawn up plans for a four-block development with a characteristic Deconstructivist 60-storey tower at its heart. When it was unveiled last August, the designs were hailed as ‘Australia’s greenest and most expensive residential complex’.

However, after the original fanfare there appeared to be little movement, and last month local practice Ashton Raggatt McDougall, which had been involved in the early design phases of the Hadid scheme, confirmed it too was no longer involved.

The exact reasons for Hadid’s departure remain unclear, although newspaper The Australian speculated that
the proposed scheme was ‘too expensive to build’.

Neither Zaha Hadid Architects, Foster + Partners nor the developer were willing to comment.

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