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‘No more cuts to Zaha’s Aquatic Centre’ says ODA chief

The chief executive of the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) has put his reputation on the line by pledging not to scale back Zaha Hadid’s troubled Aquatic Centre

The chief executive of the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) has put his reputation on the line by pledging not to scale back Zaha Hadid’s troubled Aquatic Centre.

When asked if there would be any more cuts to the key venue, David Higgins, who was speaking at Emap conference ‘The Games Briefing’, said: ‘No. It will continue to be enhanced.

‘With the preferred bidder in place [Balfour Beatty] I am confident the design will progress well. I have watched it take shape for the last 18 months and I think the design gets better and better.’

Last November Hadid’s original scheme, which featured a striking wave-like roof, was radically overhauled in an effort to slash costs. The result was a roof almost three times smaller.

Commenting on the previous cutbacks, Higgins went on to claim that they had actually improved the overall aspect of the Olympic Park.

He said: ‘There is a huge public space outside the Aquatic Centre that is bigger than Trafalgar Square. The previous value engineering allowed for this better public space.’

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