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Germany

Hundertwasser House Gets Green Light

After years of delays, building is set to begin on the "Green Citadel of Magdeburg" on Friday. The project was first launched in 1994 by the building society "Stadt Magdeburg von 1954" and entrusted four years later to Austrian artist and architect Friedensreich Hundertwasser, who died in 2000. The striking pink-colored building will contain some 11,000 square meters of 55 apartments, 18 offices, 18 stores, exhibition and gallery space, a 42-room-hotel, a kindergarten and a roof garden -- and will cost an estimated €27 million ($33.3 million.) The ambitious project was repeatedly put on hold due to lack of funds and cost negotiations. Residents also objected to Hundertwasser's distinctive, playful architecture occupying center stage on what was once one of Europe's best-preserved Baroque quarters before destruction during World War II. Hunderwasser's very last design is expected to be realized by late 2005.

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