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ODA dismisses claims over Hadid's Aquatic Centre as 'pure' speculation' - image

The Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) has branded claims that building contractors are unwilling to take on Zaha Hadid's Aquatic Centre project as 'pure speculation'.

Yesterday the AJ's sister publication Construction News sensationally revealed that almost every one of the UK's largest contracting firms - including Kier, Skanska, Galliford Try and Robert McAlpine - had snubbed the chance to tender for the London 2012 Olympics Games showpiece scheme.

Construction industry sources allegedly told Construction News that the redesigned swimming pool development was still viewed as being too risky to tackle - especially under the critical gaze of the world's media.

The revelations come just months after Hadid, in collaboration with S&P Architects, unveiled a dramatically simplified scheme which supposedly would 'reduce the risk' of constructing the pool and its wave-like 14,000m2 roof ( Zaha reveals radical changes to Olympic Aquatic Centre ).

However, with nearly three weeks left before the tender deadline, the ODA is convinced that a number of top contractors will still bid for the job.

A spokesman for the authority said: 'This [story] is pure speculation. We are confident that a number of major construction companies will compete to build the Aquatics Centre. Over 200 companies attended a recent industry day at which Zaha Hadid's team showcased the stunning design for the venue.

'At the event, and in subsequent discussions, industry has been positive about both the design and the construction plans that the engineering company Arup have been working on with Zaha Hadid's world-class team,' he added.

by Richard Waite

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