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Architect behind King Alfred plans defends "wow-factor" towers
The architect whose controversial designs for the redevelopment of Hove seafront were dumped says he believes there is still a place for extravagant buildings.
Frank Gehry’s £290 million designs for a scheme to replace the King Alfred leisure centre fell through after being hit by the recession.
The plans, which included two bold towers up to 98 metres high, would have been Mr Gehry’s first major building in England.
The development was given planning permission in March 2007 and included 751 homes spread over 11 buildings.
An £80 million sports centre, small shops, a police office, a GP surgery, cafes, restaurants and public spaces were also part of the plans.
Despite the project being cancelled Mr Gehry told a national newspaper there is still a future for extravagant “wow-factor” buildings.
He said: “If you try to stop progress you can’t - even though some people don’t seem to want it.”
The Los Angeles-based designer is best-known for his titanium-covered Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, and the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles.