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Zaha insists her Olympic future is safe

Zaha Hadid has hit back at speculation about her future on the London 2012 Olympic Aquatic Centre project.

Last week Olympics minister Tessa Jowell sensationally asked Hadid to rethink her plans for the 20,000-seat swimming pool in east London after it emerged the proposed scheme had come in at nearly double the original £75 million estimate.

According to Jowell, who has vowed to keep the Games on time and on budget, specification changes had resulted in a massive increase in project costs.

However, in a joint statement with the DCMS, the London Development Agency (LDA) and Sport England, the Iraqi-born architect has said she will continue to work on the pool development alongside collaborators S&P Architects.

'In light of the recent media coverage about the Aquatic Centre for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games- [we] wish to make it clear that Zaha Hadid Architects remains the architects for the project,' the statement said.

It continued: 'The offices of Zaha Hadid Architects and S&P Architects are continuing to work positively and in partnership with the DCMS, LDA, Sport England and the London Organising Committee to deliver a truly iconic project for the London 2012 Games - within the budget available and to the appropriate and agreed specifications.'

Meanwhile Richard Rogers, in an effort to calm the growing media frenzy surrounding the fiasco, has also released a statement championing the current architectural team behind the scheme.

Rogers, speaking in his role as architectural adviser to the Mayor of London, said: 'I am delighted- Zaha Hadid is continuing to develop its exciting ideas for the Olympic Aquatic Centre following the excellent competition run by the LDA a year ago.'

He added: 'I look forward to the scheme evolving in the context of the Olympic masterplan and meeting all the objectives set by the client for a world-class building delivered on time and in budget.'

by Richard Waite

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