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Whilst at Congenial with [livejournal.com profile] major_clanger a few weeks ago, I was struck by the very unusual building.  And as the weekend proceeded, several people told me the story of how it came into being.  Apparently it was a last minute set of plans for a middle eastern shopping centre that were pulled off the shelf ad hoc.  Quaint, I thought.

Yesterday whilst in the museum shop at Barbican I picked up a book on architecture and it fell open at New Hall's library.  Coincidence or what?  I read the three pages on the history of New Hall and the plans came from a competition in which 17 entries were received.  Chamberlain, Powell and Bon's plans were chosen. The only reference middle eastern reference I can find is some post construction criticism comparting it to a harem.

Was the shopping centre an urban myth or is there substance to it that I've missed?


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