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Zaha and AZPML make shortlist for Estonian composer’s archive

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Zaha Hadid, AZPML and Claudio Silvestrin Architects are the only UK-based practices shortlisted in the international contest to design an archive for the work of Estonian composer Arvo Pärt

The British firms will have to see off competition from a raft European names, including Danish big-hitters Henning Larsen Architects and Austria’s Coop Himmelblau, to land the prized job.

More than 70 practices entered the two-stage competition with 20 practices selected to go on to compete for the €30,000 prize fund.

The shortlist

  • Allied Works Architecture, USA
  • Alver Arhitektid OÜ, Estonia
  • Arhitektibüroo Emil Urbel, Estonia
  • AZPML, United Kingdom
  • Claudio Silvestrin Architects, United Kingdom
  • COOP HIMMELB(L)AU, Austria
  • Henning Larsen Architects, Denmark
  • Jensen & Skodvin Arkitekter AS, Norway
  • Johan Celsing Arkitektkontor AB, Sweden
  • Kavakava OÜ, Estonia
  • KOKO Arhitektid OÜ, Estonia
  • Kolm Pluss Üks OÜ, Estonia
  • Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos SLP, Spain
  • OFFICE Kersten Geers David van Severen, Belgium
  • OFIS arhitekti, Slovenia
  • Rick Joy Architects, USA
  • Salto AB OÜ, Estonia
  • Schneider+Schumacher Planungsgesellschaft, Germany
  • Stuudio Tallinn OÜ, Estonia
  • Zaha Hadid Architects, United Kingdom

Organised in collaboration with the Union of Estonian Architects (UEA), the brief was to design a new building for the Arvo Pärt Centre in Laulasmaa, near Tallinn, Estonia.

The new 2,000m² building will include an archive, exhibition and workshop spaces, meeting rooms, multi-functional areas and a café. The archive will house the ‘entire creative legacy’ of the Estonian composer both in physical and digital form.

The shortlisted practices will now be asked to complete design concepts and technical drawings for their scheme.

The chairman of the contests committee, Michael Pärt, said: ‘I was very moved by my fellow jury members, as their experience contributed greatly towards our inspiring and creative jury sittings. I am looking forward towards the next phase of our path towards realising the new “Kellasalu” grounds of the APK in Laulasmaa.’

UEA chairman Peeter Pere, added: ‘Paradoxically, a unique style of Estonian music and a unique composer are bringing to life a unique type of architecture. This is all taking place away from official centres of attraction, with the end result being that the pine forest chosen for the centre’s building has become extraordinarily attractive.’

The Arvo Pärt Centre was founded in 2010 by Arvo Pärt and his family with the aim of creating opportunities for preserving and researching the creative heritage of the composer in his native land, Estonia.

The winner will be announced in June 2014.

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