Signature architects Lord Foster and Dutchman Rem Koolhaas have been selected to design the £140m Dallas Centre for the Performing Arts.
Foster will design a 2400-seat theatre that will be home to opera, ballet, musical theatre and large-scale productions. Koolhaas will work on a second 800-seat auditorium, which will provide flexible stage space for theatre, dance and other performing arts.

The architects will begin design work early next year; construction is expected to begin in 2004 and to end in 2007. When completed, the complex will house a variety of artistic performances in a campus-like setting.

The centre is to be located in the south-east quadrant of Dallas' arts district. Deedie Rose, co-chair of the architect selection committee and a member of the board running the project, said: "This is our one chance to truly create a heart of the city. Both on and off the stages, this public space will be a place for the citizens of Dallas and its visitors to be inspired by the art presented, as well as be a place to gather and spend time."

The board is raising funds for the project – £8m has been spent acquiring land for the site, and £65m has been raised from private donors.

Private money will make up 80% of the project's final cost.

Actor Sidney Poitier and opera star Beverley Sills have pledged to support the project by being among the 1400 that will attend a fund-raising gala in March next year.

Last month, Foster and Partners came second in Building's top 100 architects league (16 November, pages 54-55), with 172 chartered architects on its staff.