London 2012 report to examine BAA’s procurement method – and plans emerge for post-games cultural legacy

The team organising London’s bid for the 2012 Olympic is drawing up a paper that could lead to a select number of contractors and architects carrying out £3.6bn of work on the Olympic site.

As the bid gathers pace, details have also emerged this week of ambitious plans for the Lea Valley site’s post-games legacy, which could include a South Bank-style cultural centre.

For the development of the east London brownfield site, the bid team’s paper will examine the select procurement strategy, which is similar to the one used on Heathrow Terminal 5.

James Bulley, London 2012’s director of infrastructure and legacy planning, said: “In terms of deliverability and construction of these facilities, we’re working up a paper that considers a framework similar to T5 for individual packages.”

Earlier this year, architects Foster and Partners, Grimshaw, Parr Partnership, Reid Architecture and Ruddle Wilkinson were appointed to BAA’s Terminal 5 project on five-year contracts. They were joined by structural engineers Halcrow, Buro Happold, Whitbybird and WSP Buildings.

This framework would differ from the approach of 2008 Olympics host Beijing, which went to architectural competition on each of its facilities. This approach has produced a stadium and swimming centre with strikingly dissimilar architectural forms.

The London masterplan includes an 80,000-seater stadium at Marshgate Lane in the centre of the “Olympic Precinct”, a 17,000-capacity Olympic village near Stratford being planned with developer Chelsfield and a major bridge over the A12 to the north of the scheme, as well as plans for 200 bridges over the River Lea.

The bid team is to have its procurement strategy in place by 15 November, when all five competing cities have to submit their detailed candidacy files.

We're working up a paper considering a framework similar to T5

James Bulley, London 2012

Meanwhile, a government steering group met this week to sift through proposals for the site’s legacy to the Lea Valley. These include plans to turn the lower Lea Valley into a centre for culture to rival the South Bank.

The bid’s cultural advisers are looking at proposals to convert some of the sporting venues into iconic cultural centres after the games, thereby creating an “East Bank”.

The bidding team has appointed renowned theatre director Jude Kelly to come up with adventurous plans for a vision of the area post-2012.

Kelly, who is also working on the opening and closing ceremonies, said: “We’re having a range of conversations about the development of a vision. It’s not about simply plonking cultural events in the East End of London, but about capturing the cultural wealth of the area.”

She added that the team was talking to cultural institutions such as the Science Museum to work out how it could work with the bid to set up partnering initiatives.

Kelly said it was too early to say whether this would mean new theatres or museums in the Lea Valley, but that plans would emerge.

n London 2012 will be announcing details of their plans for Olympic training centres in a few weeks. The Lea Valley Regional Park Authority is already planning a training facility with a 200 m indoor track for the north of the Lea Valley.