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… And ODA responds to 'grave concerns' about bridges

The Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) has pledged that despite CABE’s concerns, the design of the Olympic Park’s bridges will be of ‘high quality’.

The promise came hours after CABE and Design for London published a joint design review in which they stated that they had ‘grave concerns’ over the design of the Olympic Park's 34 Bridges.

The review went on to say the bodies were unable to the planning application for the main stadium’s bridges in their current form.

The report said: ‘CABE and Design for London’s support of the minimal approach to a generic structural solution has been dependent on the architects’ creative responses to the detailed design.

‘However, critical features of these bridges are not subject of this application and will therefore be left for future planning applications, planning conditions or the bridge contractors to determine.’

CABE also said it to have ‘serious concerns’ about how the Aquatic Centre bridges were procured, and criticised the ODA over its ‘practise of separating architecture from engineering’. It urged the body to ensure all infrastructure elements are designed as a ‘coherent whole’.

It added that the ODA’s reasons to exclude Zaha Hadid Architects in the design of the bridges remain ‘unconvincing’.

The commission also believes that two of the bridges linking the Aquatic Centre to the park should not be allowed to go ahead, adding that they should be ‘distinctive places, rather than generic infrastructure’.

An ODA spokesperson said: ‘We welcome CABE’s support for these schemes and continue to work closely with them.

‘The detailed architectural designs of the bridges will be submitted as part of the planning application in the coming months and we are very confident that they will be of a high quality.’

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