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CABE finally happy with Olympic media centre plans

CABE’s Olympic panel has been won over by the designs for London 2012’s media centre following a series of revisions to the scheme

The government’s design watchdog had previously labelled the ‘gargantuan’ project (pictured left) designed by Allies and Morrison with the RPS Group, as ‘extremely weak’ and urged a fundamental rethink.

However CABE admitted it had been encouraged by the introduction of a new cladding system for the centre’s car park (pictured above) and the reworking of the facade on the main two blocks - officially known as the International Broadcast Centre and Main Press Centre (IBC/MPC).

The review panel said: ‘The additional thinking about the MPC’s external detail shows promise.

‘The new design work provides convincing evidence that profiled metal cladding, when thoughtfully detailed, can provide convincing façade treatments.

‘We appreciate the visual interest achieved through the deployment of coloured louvers and the alternate rain screen treatment which identifies and separates individual bays that in turn break down the expansive elevations.

The panel added: ‘The success of the profiled metal cladding and the revised façade details will depend on their careful execution in practice.’

The scheme, which will house 20,000 journalists during the games, was expected to go before the Olympic planning committee next week. Following the reworking it will not now be considered until 23 June.

Despite the revisions CABE remained concerned about the future ‘legacy’ use of the blocks. The panel added: ‘We continue to believe that the longer term success of the IBC will largely depend on the effectiveness of the strategy to divide the mega-structure into separate buildings with continuous open frontages at ground level.’

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