The AJ’s Paul Finch has called for the country’s architects to be given the applause and appreciation they deserve for their work on London’s 2012 Games
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Although the DC CABE chair enjoyed the Olympic opening ceremony he was left infuriated by the lack of credit for who those who designed the venues.
While Thomas Heatherwick was acknowledged by the BBC as designer of the ‘cauldron’ for the finale, Finch points out that no mention was made of stadium architects Populous.
Finch says ‘it has become embarrassingly apparent that [architects] have been treated as being useful for as long as there was a job to be done, but not thought of as major contributors to the success of the Games thereafter.’
Speaking about the strict marketing constraints designers have been subjected to he added: ‘What is particularly galling about the Stalinist control of information and publicity is that it affects the designers of the buildings that we, the British public, have paid for.’
‘There is something in our culture which seems to disregard the significance of architects in the creation of great buildings’, says Finch, hailing Nicholas Grimshaw as an example of an architect overlooked in the celebration of the Waterloo Euroterminal.
‘Imagine the impact on the world if our architects and designers had been invited to take a bow at the opening ceremony,’ he says, adding that the gesture would have increased export prospects for British architects yet to work overseas.
Paul Finch: 'Treat Olympic designers with the courtesy and credit they are due'