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ODA defends procurement strategy in face of Rogers outburst

The Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) has vigorously defended its procurement strategy for London 2012 after coming under fire from Richard Rogers and a host of other architectural observers.

The ODA has issued assurances that it will take architecture very seriously when putting teams together for the major projects on the mammoth undertaking.

The organisation was responding to Rogers' headline-grabbing comments last week, when he told the AJ that he was deeply concerned about the fact the ODA was committed to design-and-build contracts (AJ 09.11.06).

He said this was not the best way to ensure the Olympics would also be a glittering architectural show. The ODA disagrees.

'We are committed to high-quality design, but the functionality of venues and the legacy that they leave behind for the community is also very important,' an ODA statement said.

'We have established an independent design panel to advise us on the design quality, of which Lord Rogers is a member.'

Responding to Rogers' concerns that the 2012 venues should be more iconic, the ODA said it was working with Iraq-born architect Zaha Hadid on the design of the Aquatics Centre.

'Zaha Hadid is one of the most creative talents around, but the quality debate is not just about architecture - it also needs to encompass engineering, art, creativity, innovation and culture.'

by Ed Dorrell

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