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Barcelona Olympics architect slams London's 2012 efforts

The British architect largely credited with masterplanning the hugely successful Barcelona Olympics has attacked recent developments in planning London 2012.

David Mackay, a founding partner of MBM Arquitectes, has warned that Olympic Delivery Agency mandarins are making mistakes in the build up to construction.

Mackay was commissioned to design the Olympic Village in 1985 for the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games, which are considered overwhelmingly the most successful in terms of architecture and regeneration.

Speaking at the RIBA London Chairman's Dinner last night, Mackay said: 'The Games in London will probably be the most successful in sporting terms because of the sporting culture here, but I cannot say the same about design or landscape.

'The arguments in Barcelona were very simple and the leadership was simple; the mayor was in charge.

'I fear that the organisation of the legacy is a disaster [in London] compared with Barcelona. Why is the legacy added on here? In Barcelona, we thought 'let's have a great games and then the legacy will follow'.

'We need to solve the problem of the Lea Valley through landscaping, and from what I've seen this has not happened,' Mackay added.

by Ed Dorrell

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