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Gold performance

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On the basis of his performance at the Venice Biennale last week, Alejandro Zaero-Polo of Foreign Office Architects (FOA) would make a creditable standin for Lord Coe in promoting the London 2012 Olympic bid, as he plugged the east London proposals and dealt deftly with tricky questions about local community involvement. He was speaking at the British Council/ Architecture Foundation debate on 'Olympic cities - boost or bust', which was designed to shed light on what the Olympics really do for cities. 'We are sure there is no other bid in terms of architectural content that can compete with us!' claimed Zaero-Polo, as he provided tantalising glimpses of the London proposals ('which are, of course, still confidential'), including the concept of 100 bridges, which will be a major determinant of the urban form of the regenerated Lower Lea Valley. Images of athletic muscles suggested the source of inspiration for the architectural form of FOA's proposals. Zaero-Polo said he was aiming for a city that was more athletic, more exciting and more muscular. He suggested that this result can be created either with major new projects 'on anabolic steroids, or you can do it by breathing life into and building on to what is there'.

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