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October 27, 2008

Milan university building beats Hadid and Foster to top prize

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A university building in Milan, designed by Irish practice Grafton Architects, has scooped the top prize at the inaugural World Architecture Festival awards, beating architectural heavyweights Zaha Hadid and Foster and Partners. The new faculty building at Luigi Bocconi University, Milan, was selected from a total of 17 finalists, whittled down from 224 projects presented at the World Architecture Festival in Barcelona last week. The judging panel, headed by Lord Norman Foster and architectural practitioners from around the world, praised the building – which includes suspended offices, a 1,000-seat auditorium, lecture theatres, public courtyards and a subterranean concourse – for its “3D design” and “effortless structural solution”. Paul Finch, WAF programme director and editor of the Architectural Review, said at the awards: “Our congratulations go to Grafton Architects. The winning building has a heavy relationship with the landscape of Milan and has the capacity to make a profound difference to the lives of its users. Grafton Architects have opened up the past of the city with a 21st-century attitude.”

The Guardian

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