'@ the Olympics' was the title of this year's Corus Undergraduate Architects Award, open to European undergraduate architecture students. The brief could be seen as a development of Henman's Hill at Wimbledon, in this case a centrally located structure or series of structures where those without tickets for attending events at the 2012 Olympics could meet to watch them on screen. Facilties were to include at least catering and WCs, medical and press services. The overall provision would need to be large and flexible. The judges were looking for inventive and inspiring architecture, with the primary material being steel in any of its forms.
1ST PLACE Blanca Pedroasa Ignacio Nieto de la Cal Less a big-screen event, more an immersive virtual experience, thought up by students from the Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura de Madrid (ETSAM). Continuous LCD screens and data carpets along streets let you into the action, shown at full scale, backed up with water and smell humidity sprinklers, plus sound. Lightweight multimedia lighthouses also project images onto buildings at night. An arena with inclined ribs has central conical screens visible by those seated or walking by below.
2ND PLACE Finn Williams Andrew Griffi n Julius Kranefuss Designed by students at Glasgow's Mackintosh School of Architecture, a network of events-broadcasting sites is included in all five 2012 bid cities. Cities would adopt underused land or remove derelict buildings, helping to initiate regeneration. Sites would be connected by overhead 'beams of light', a sort of electronic 'Etch-a-Sketch' providing changing information and aiding wayfinding. After the Olympics, beams could be reconfigured.
SPECIAL COMMENDATION Isabel Blan Fernandez Oscar Encabo With a form that adapts to the place, these ETSAM students offer a continuous structure that can be a meandering string across the city or a closed loop. It provides variously:
display screens; locations for facilities within its depth and permeable crossing places. By defining green spaces within the city, the framework also provides settings for concerts, local sport itself, meetings and the like, both during and after the Olympics.
SPECIAL COMMENDATION Alfredo Cadenas-Santiago An ESTAM student again, this time playing the home ticket with a structure for the Plaza Mayor in Madrid. First impressions are incomplete as you glimpse this shiny moving piece of sculpture. Once inside the plaza the whole body and its moving parts are revealed. Each fold is a big LED screen producing a kaleidoscopic effect with different screens at different angles.