Bern's Parliament Square an award-winner.

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The square in front of the Swiss parliament building has scored the 2006 award for regional and urban design from The American Institute of Architects. Previous winners include the Picasso Museum in Malaga and the Washington Convention Center.

The design stirred some controversy when the square underwent its SFr 8 million renovation in 2004.

Swiss-US architect Stephan Mundwiler and designers Ruedi Stutz and Christian Stauffenegger remodeled the former car park with 3,600 granite slabs from the Alps.

It is studded with 26 water jets--marking each of Switzerland's cantons. A white strip across the square is illuminated at night, as if...

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