CABE’s Olympic panel has slammed plans for London 2012’s Media Centre, labelling it ‘extremely weak’
The government’s design watchdog said it is unable to support the proposed designs on the edge of the Olympic Park in East London and called for a fundamental rethink.
The panel said it had serious concerns over the quality of the architecture of both main buildings – the RPS Group-designed International Broadcast Centre and Allies and Morrison’s Main Press Centre – showing a ‘paucity of imagination’ and the panel believes it could blight the Olympic legacy.
CABE’s recommendation is that the ODA develops a new strategy to secure the necessary architectural quality to attract investors and provide the competitive edge, which a business park needs.
Paul Finch, chair of the London 2012 design review panel, comments: ‘Unless there is a fundamental rethink, then people could be forgiven for wondering why sheds have been removed from the Lower Lea Valley in the name of high quality urban regeneration, only to be reinstated at a much larger scale. When we talk about poor architecture we are not just talking about style here. We mean identity and character, and scale and coherence, and the creation of a legacy which is appropriate to a site of this importance.’
Outline planning permission was granted in September 2007. The planning application for detailed design was submitted on 10 March 2009. A decision is expected to be made on 9 June 2009. If the planning authority does give the scheme approval, then CABE urges it to be conditional approval upon improving the architectural quality of the scheme.