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Millennium developments in Greenwich boom time

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Architects for a new hotel and leisure centre close to the Millennium Dome are to be chosen within weeks, while a detailed planning application is being submitted for the nearby Millennium Village.

The 11,000m2, 150-bed hotel will be next to the 9000m2 leisure centre, with 20 cinema screens on two floors - both schemes will go alongside the low-energy Sainsbury's designed by Chetwood Associates.

Ralph Luck, ep's development director for the peninsula, said that it would choose teams for the separate projects around August. ep would not say who was in the running.

It did say, however, that detailed planning permission for Millennium Village, by Ralph Erskine and Hunt Thompson, will be sought in early autumn. The cleared site has been scooped for two lakes, one for wildfowl, the other for boating. A covered street will lead from the main lake to the heart of the village, an oval plaza with visitor centre and shops. A spiral road winds its way towards the dome.

Next to the dome Foster and Partners' bus terminal, which curves in every plane, is taking shape with taxi ranks, parking for 1000 vehicles, and the bus terminal with deep canopies for 'kiss-and-ride' drop-off points. The concourse has walls of glass, metal panels and high-level terracotta tiles.

Escalators lead into Alsop & Stormer's North Greenwich station of blue- walls and mosaic-covered columns. Roland Paoletti, London Transport's architect in charge of the Jubilee Line Extension, said that the original design was a trench open to the sky. London Underground, however, insisted it be covered, and coloured grey, cream or white. The designers held out for blue because they wanted to 'keep the sky,' said Paoletti. The station was designed within a year and a half, as opposed to the usual six years.

'We were told to do it a great speed and it didn't give anybody time to pull it apart,' Paoletti said. 'There is nothing whimsical here, we are rationalising structure underground.'

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