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REWARD US, SAY OLYMPIC FIRMS

NEWS

Two of the architects who were pivotal in bringing the 2012 Olympic Games to London have called for their 'selfless' work to be rewarded with more commissions on the project.

Both Foreign Office Architects and Allies and Morrison - who, together with HOK Sport and EDAW, masterplanned the successful bid - say they deserve to remain involved in the scheme.

This group were told when they were appointed at the end of 2002 that they would only be employed up to the date of the International Olympic Committee's decision. It was always policy that the architectural work would then be re-tendered.

But Foreign Office Architects founding partner Farshid Moussavi insisted that the team's extremely successful work on the scheme should now be recognised with further commissions. She claimed that the office went above and beyond the call of duty when working on the London 2012 bid and had 'given away many of our best ideas'.

For example, FOA had drawn up extensive concepts for the various stadia that will be situated on the masterplan in east London's Lea Valley.

'We are not officially involved any more in any capacity, ' Moussavi told the AJ after the 2012 decision.

'And that, I think, is sad.' She said that her office should be rewarded with more work. 'When the masterplan went three-dimensional we had a big debate in the office about whether we should be involved because we would have to give away some of our best ideas.

'In the end we decided that we should be unselfish and we gave our utmost to the bid so that it stood the very best chance of winning.

'But now we feel this selfless decision should be recognised and we should be allowed to work on the development again in the future. It really should be recognised - it was a big thing to do, ' she added.

And Moussavi picked up the backing of Bob Allies, founding partner of Allies and Morrison. 'I would be very disappointed if the four of us (the four practices on the bid team) were not involved again on the project in the future, ' he said. 'It would be a bit mean if we didn't have a part to play.

'It was a huge commitment on our part to carry this through and we'd be very sad if we had no more involvement following London's win.

'People keep asking me whether we are very busy at the moment, but the simple answer is we are not because we're not on the project anymore.' The London Development Agency (LDA) said there was little the 2012 team could do for the architects. 'The LDA is a public body and as such is obliged to follow the standard government procurement procedures to ensure that taxpayers receive value for money for any expenditure made on a project such as delivering the Olympic Games, ' said a spokeswoman.

But, she added: 'Within the procurement procedure, previous experience, capability and ideas for innovative design will be taken into account in the selection process.'

Zaha Hadid Architects has released these new model images of the Olympic Aquatic Centre to mark London's success in being appointed to host the 2012 Games last Thursday. The centre - which would have been built whether the capital had won or not - will include two 50m swimming pools and will have capacity for 20,000 spectators. For HOK Sports' views on London 2012 see pages 14-15.

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