Architecture Update: Three draw for Reichstag prize

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The Independent Culture
SIR Norman Foster is one of three architects awarded joint first prize in a competition to convert Berlin's Reichstag into the new German parliament. Sir Norman proposes gutting the building (the original interiors were lost in the infamous fire of 1933 and rebuilt in the Sixties) and enclosing it in a transparent canopy 50m (164ft) high.

In Sir Norman's design, the extra space needed for car parking, offices, galleries and conference facilities is placed at podium level, leaving maximum flexibility to create a new assembly hall behind the Reichstag facade. Although it has been assumed that, as in the new Bonn parliament, the assembly hall will be circular, Sir Norman would like to obtain some feedback from the users of the Bonn hall.

The two other shortlisted architects are the Spanish architect/engineer Santiago Calatrava and the Dutch architect Pi de Bruijn. The three winners will receive a joint prize of DM120,000 ( pounds 50,000). The competition was open to all German architects and to 14 non-Germans. A final decision is to be made by the Bundestag before its summer break.

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