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Zaha reveals radical changes to Olympic Aquatic Centre - images

The Olympic Delivery Agency (ODA) has revealed the latest images of Zaha Hadid and S&P Architects' plans for the Aquatic Centre for the 2012 Games.

The scheme has been radically overhauled and will now feature a roof almost three times smaller than the original proposals ( bottom) - the new structure will cover 14,000m 2compared to the 35,000m 2envisaged in the competition-winning design.

Another loss is the unusual wave-like dip in the roof form which was a key characteristic of the first design.

According to the ODA's chief executive David Higgins, the rationale behind the redesign has been to 'reduce the risk' associated with building the complex pool structure.

Higgins, speaking at a press conference earlier today (27 November), said: 'The reasons for the design changes are legacy and risk.

'We have to ensure buildability is tied in with the design and we are confident that the development of the design makes it so.'

Despite growing media speculation that the project's budget was ballooning out of control, both Hadid and Higgins denied that the anticipated costs had driven the recent shake up.

Hadid added: 'This was never about cost savings - it was about making the building work. It was not a cost issue.'

However, Higgins did admit that, because the roof was smaller, costs would be reduced. He also mentioned that the latest proposals would rely on significantly less steel.

Once the 2012 Games are over the building will be reduced in size from a 20,000-seat, twin-pool stadium to a 3,500-seat public facility.

Part of the latest design will be temporary, removable seating, which will sit under short-term, curved roof extensions.

At the press conference, Hadid sidestepped questions about the energy-efficiency of the new scheme - an element of the project which the Green Party in particular has been concerned about.

Higgins said the building would be powered by a central biomass source, which will help power the whole Games.

by Richard Waite

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