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Olympic Velodrome to be re-tendered

The architecture profession has greeted yesterday's scrapping of the existing Olympic velodrome tender with mixed emotions.

While some responded to the news with surprise, others said that the decision's ramifications would have no lasting effect on those who had already bid for the scheme.

At the same meeting, the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) revealed these latest images of the Olympic Park ( pictured).

A source at FaulknerBrowns, which was instrumental in conducting feasibility studies on the Olympic velodrome and had bid to design it, said it found the ODA's move to re-tender 'shocking'.

Others, such as HOK Sport senior principal John Barrow - one of the designers of the Olympic Park itself, who also submitted an expression of interest for the velodrome last year - were less surprised.

Barrow said: 'From my conversations with the ODA, I believe the tender will re-emerge in six weeks' time as a fresh competition.

'It was only a beauty contest, nothing was designed, so there's no egg on anyone's face. It's certainly nothing that we would get worked up about.'

This view was not echoed by Andy Mytom, a sports partner at David Morley Architects, who had also worked on the velodrome at an early stage.

He claimed it was 'crucial' that the ODA managed the selection process responsibly and transparently.

David Higgins, the incoming chief executive of the ODA, made the tender announcement at the 2012 business summit yesterday.

He said: 'The next steps are the validation of the plans for the park and the infrastructure.

'This will mean restarting the process of finding designers for the velopark in the middle of the year. There would be no point in continuing with that while we are still surveying the site.

'We will draw up a brief for the venues, then outsource them to projects managers to carry out the OJEU processes. This will mean the restart of the procurement programme.'

He also mooted the possibility of bringing in 'design champions' to maintain quality.

In addition, the new EDAW-led consortium which will mastermind the Olympic Park design announced that it would be introducing a new internal design-review body.

by Rob Sharp

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