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Zurich rejects controversial congress centre

Voters in the city of Zurich have turned down plans for a new lakeside congress centre, designed by top Spanish architect Rafael Moneo.

This content was published on June 1, 2008 - 17:00

The authorities needed voters' agreement to purchase land for the project. However, Moneo's SFr380 million ($370 million) project came up against stiff opposition.

The proposed site would have had enough room for 3,000 people and would have included a hotel. Supporters maintained that Zurich needed a better centre that was more international than the present one dating from 1939.

But a group of architects and an association of politicians and local personalities mobilised in favour of the old congress house, saying it was an important part of Zurich's architectural history.

Now that the land purchase credit – almost SFr60 million - has been rejected, plans for the new congress centre will go back to the drawing board.

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