Student architects discuss the proposition to convert the Olympic park media centre into an indoor snow centre
This is ’Snow in the City’, Gensler Architects’ proposition for Europe’s first indoor snow resort by converting the Olympic park media centre.The 89m high, 28,500m2 development would contain snow sports, leisure, hotel and entertainment facilities.
Peter van Aalst’s verdict
The Gensler design first reminds me somewhat of fluidity to order with the large part being fluid organic merging with a more typical London office facade with the geometric shape with large windows.
Gensler has successfully elevated what is a glorified extension from a normal perspective, the structure comes across as a dual purposed building designed together in order to both contrast and complement on different levels, Peter van Aalst
As I delve a little further into the history of the design I begin to understand the financial and - to a certain extent - moral need to assimilate at least part of the existing £320m structure of the 2012 London Olympic broadcasting centre into the enveloping building that as been proposed.
The somewhat divergent design seems to iterate and flow between the two, leading the eye back and forth. I feel the roof helps develop a language between the two, something similar to chaos to order approach.
Gensler has successfully elevated what is a glorified extension from a normal perspective, the structure comes across as a dual purposed building designed together in order to both contrast and complement on different levels with the free flowing insect like facade reaching out to reveal and embrace the geometric broadcast centre.
Lim Pao Yee’s verdict
The sleek, glistening surface of London Snow Resort suggests a very handsome and futuristic outlook. The intelligent use of the colour white is a successful use of symbolism where it presents literally what it is designed to serve - snow sports centre for the Olympic games in 2012.
My mind axiomatically meanders to Eero Saarinen’s TWA Terminal in New York upon seeing London Snow Resort by Gensler designs.
Characteristics of expressionist architecture is prominent in this iconic design - the form is organic and emotional, a subordination of realism is injected into its outer coat, seemingly an attempt to achieve visually the sight of ice glacials in the Atlantic. The white structure is furthermore highlighted by the undisturbed blue horizon at the rear of the building.
My mind axiomatically meanders to Eero Saarinen’s TWA Terminal in New York upon seeing London Snow Resort by Gensler designs, Lim Pao Yee
It is perhaps also trying to achieve the ’Bilbao’ effect for East London through this structure as it will uplift the image of the area by portraying itself as the first indoor destination for snow sports in Europe. It is rather a contemporary idea to be able to enjoy snow sports in the city itself.
The sustainable legacy proposed for the Snow Resort is also ameliorating in a way that it promotes an integrated mixed use development after the Olympic games - unlike some other flamboyant structures that are erected for only a short-lived event, such as those elevated for world expos.
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Peter van Aalst and Lim Pao Yee are final year architecture students Nottingham Trent University.