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London Olympics Aldgate Competition Winner Announched

An worldwide competition to design a new Aldgate, a temporary landmark and entrance to the City of London for the London Olympics, has been won by a proposal called London Gate, by Donis of the Netherlands.

The new temporary landmark will be on the Eastern edge of the City of London, in London’s financial quarter, and will stand throughout the 2012 London Olympic & Paralympics Games.

A competition for the design of the project was open to, but not limited to, architects, designers, artists and product designers from all over the world..

The organisers of the competition, the UK-based Architecture Foundation, encouraged designer to suggest inspiring and innovative designs for the temporary structure.

On the 250th anniversary of the destruction of the old London City gates, the 2010 project fittingly provided the opportunity for a new Aldgate landmark and gateway that will celebrate London’s openness and diversity, as well as the capital’s role as hosts of the 2012 Olympics.

Over 100 innovative designs were entered from across the world, including places as diverse as Mexico, Germany and Dubai.

A spokesman for the Architecture Foundation said that the international representation was wholly in keeping with the competition’s stated aim to celebrate London’s openness to diversity.

Other shortlisted proposals included The Listening Posts, by Foster Lomas (UK); Aldgate To The World, by Juan Alfonso Galan Arquitecto (UK); Ceci N’est Pas Une Maison, by Normal (Canada), and Vertical Forest, by Sou Fujimoto Architects (Japan).

Entries were judged anonymously by a panel including Alderman Mike Bear of the City of London; Achim Borchardt Hume, chief curator of the Whitechapel Gallery, east London; Roger France, master of the Worshipful Company of Chartered Architects; Peter Murray, chairman of New London Architecture, and Sarah Ichioka, director of the Architecture Foundation.

“We were delighted by the diversity of the submissions we received from all over the world,” said Sarah Ichioka.

“We are confident this new landmark for Aldgate will build upon the Architecture Foundation’s strong history of promoting innovative design through competitions [and] which has produced a wide range of inclusive and engaging structures in the public realm, including the Old Street Promenade of Light and the Regent’s Place Pavilion,” she added.

In the past, Aldgate was known as Ale-Gate, so called because it was the only London gateway open to all (ale). Situated on the site of the old historic Ald-Gate, the new landmark aims to emphasise the fact that the City now welcomes, rather than drives away, its neighbours.

“This new landmark and gateway will be a symbol of the progress made by the City of London since the destruction of the original City gates 250 years ago,” said Alderman Mike Bear of the City of London.

The City of London combines ancient traditions and ceremonial functions with the role of a modern and efficient local authority, looking after the needs of its residents, businesses and more than 320,000 people who work in the center of London every day.

The new gate will proove an added tourist attraction for the London Olympics in 2012.



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