Cabe’s critique of the 2012 venues has given the thumbs-up to the Olympic stadium design, but slammed the bridges that surround it.
HOK Sport’s much-maligned “Vol-au-vent” stadium has found an ally in Cabe’s Olympic design review panel, which said the scheme has “the potential to be a visually exciting and elegant piece of architecture and engineering”.
However, the review panel labelled Arup and Allies and Morrison’s bridges leading to the stadium and aquatics centre as “functional engineering solutions lacking in Olympic spirit”.
The panel applauded Zaha Hadid’s “highly accomplished” aquatics centre, but warned that considerate detailing of its complex curvilinear roof – which has been subject to a number of redesigns – was “critical”.
The panel also criticised disabled access to the aquatics centre, noting that gradients and sight lines may disadvantage wheelchair users. It said: “We’d expect a paralympic venue to positively discriminate for wheelchair users and provide adequate accessible seating.”
Of the masterplan for the park, by EDAW and Allies and Morrison, the review said: “The methodology is robust and the design principles, which we broadly support, are clear.”
The panel is chaired by Paul Finch, editor of Architectural Review, and includes Patrick Clarke of Llewelyn Davies Yeang, Glenn Howells, Steve McGuckin of Land Securities, Pankaj Patel of Patel Taylor, Lord Rogers, Bill Taylor of Hopkins Architects, David West of Studio Egret West, and Stephen Witherford of Witherford Watson Mann Architects.