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Stellar list revealed in battle to design new Margate Turner centre

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A shortlist of six practices has been named in the competition to design the replacement for Snohetta and Spence's doomed Turner Contemporary centre in Margate.

David Chipperfield and Danish practice Schmidt Hammer Lassen head up the list of architects vying to design the new art gallery in Kent, following the high-profile demise of the original project.

Allford Hall Monaghan Morris, John McAslan and Partners, Patel Taylor and local practice CTM Architects - which has already worked on a masterplan for the waterfront site - are also among the contest finalists.

Kent County Council decided to launch the search for a new design team after pulling the plug on the ambitious ship-like scheme by Snohetta and Spence Associates in February due to ballooning costs (AJ 08.02.06).

It is understood the budget for the proposed art gallery off Margate pier (pictured above) had spiralled from £7 million to almost £50 million.

The replacement scheme is expected to have a strict £15 million budget and is expected to be sited on the former Rendezvous car park site.

Kent County Council cabinet member for communities, Mike Hill, said: 'The shortlist is a fantastic move towards transforming the harbour site in Margate.

'We will be involving residents in the design process for The Turner Contemporary and the whole major regeneration project in their area.'

A winner is expected to be announced next month.

by Richard Waite

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