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Friday25 July 2014

olympics 2012

2012 media centre 'would blight Olympic legacy', says Cabe

The Olympic  media centre
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Cabe has savaged plans for London 2012’s Olympic media centre, saying it is unable to support the current designs.

In a statement released today, Cabe was particularly critical of the RPS Group-designed International Broadcast Centre (IBC) in the Olympic park which will play host to 20,000 journalists during the 2012 games, describing them as “particularly weak” and a potential blight on Olympic legacy.

It said that more work was also needed to improve the “large monolithic block” of the other main media centre building, the Allies & Morrison-designed Main Press Centre (MPC).

Speaking about the broadcast centre, Cabe described the site layout as “awkward and unresolved” and criticised the “extraordinary banality” of the building itself.

“In our view it is simply not good enough,” Cabe said. “We would go so far as to say that its continued presence would blight rather than enhance the Olympic legacy.”

Outline planning permission has already been granted for the media centre, and the independent planning authority set up to rule on 2012 is expected to consider detailed designs within two months.

Cabe’s response is embarrassing for Olympic organisers who have already ordered work on the foundations of the building to begin.

A source at the Olympic Delivery Authority pointed out the building was supposed to be functional and practical, and pointed out that over the last six months its cost – funded from the public purse – had been reduced to £355 million.

Olympic chiefs want the site to be used as a business park after the games, something Cabe does not object to. But it says for the proposal to be successful the layout will have to be rethought along with “more convincing design and landscape proposals”.

“Architecturally one would also expect to see convincing design details relating to cladding, fenestration, roof design and entrances,” the watchdog said.

An ODA spokesman described the media centre as “compact and efficient” and good value for money. “Work on the external appearance of the buildings is ongoing and we look forward to discussing this further with CABE and other partners,” he added.

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Readers' comments (9)

  • Again Cabe attacks a design that is non functional not fit for purpose, a 'large monolithic block'. I agree and I saw it over a year ago. However, a couple of days ago you attacked Prince Charles for interfering in the UK planning process. You are to late outline has been gained. When will Cabe look at and focus on the planning process. It does not work and is detrimental to architecture ever being taken serious.

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  • Bill, you should try and differenciate between an interfering royal and a quango interested in the built environment.

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  • Im really disgusted with this building.. I want my council tax back!!!!!

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  • I have to agree this building needs a serious rethink Cabe are absolutely right and value for money at 355million? what planet does this man live on?

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  • This is a Media Centre? It looks like a distribution warehouse for Morrissons or Lidl! £355 as good value? Wow. Words fail me.

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  • The only surprise is that CABE did this. Well done. For some time I've been wondering when someone would tell the Emperor that his suit of new clothes was inadequate.

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  • James, Whilst you might be correct that CABE is in a better position to have a critical and objective view over the design of the building, Bill's point still stands correct. The whole Prince Charles debate focuses on whether anyone or anything can interfere with the democratic planning process, regardless to whether their position is valid. Agreed, few of us like the planning process, but it is currently all we have, and therefore what we must rely on and work to. If we are unhappy with this then a revision of the planning process in necessary. We can't have our cake and eat it.

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  • Poor design meets poor imagination. Although somebody is going to make a healthy profit based on the current budget for this warehouse.

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  • But what is the 'democratic process'? HRH did nothing illegal in trying to get the scheme altered, that's a democratic right of all of us, we don't have to wait until the plans are in for planning consent and then object. That's too late.

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