2012 cost-cutting hits architect Allies and Morrison, but UK architects anticipate Olympic “overlay” commissions

Allies and Morrison’s role on the 750,000ft² Olympic broadcast centre, part of the £385m media centre, looks in doubt now that the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) has apparently decided to opt for a temporary structure.

The ODA is understood to have asked architect and shed specialist RPS Burks Green to work up designs for a wholly temporary structure, which in its previous form was to have become a hub for media companies after the 2012 Olympics.

The ODA denied that Allies and Morrison’s position has been affected by the appointment, but sources close to the matter saidthey were told it no longer had a role in the broadcast centre, reports Building magazine. However, the firm could still be involved in designing a 20,000m² office suite to support the centre.

Meanwhile, Willmott Dixon and BAM Construct will be feeling more optimistic after being shortlisted for a £35m contract to build an academy specialising in English, drama and music in the 2012 Olympic Village.

Chobham Academy is a key part of the ODA’s legacy plan for the deprived area, and will be used to house athletes and Olympic officials during the games. London-based William Verry, Kier, Wates and Galliford Try were also in the running, but have now been eliminated, reports Construction News.

Meanwhile, UK architects including Lifshutz Davidson Sandilands, Flacq, Hawkins Brown and David Morley Architects have made it onto a shortlist for a £350m contract to convert existing venues for the Games, such as the O2 Centre and Greenwich Park, reports Building Design magazine.

Fears that experienced US-based contenders on the shortlist – Cannon Design and HOK Sport – could grab the five “overlay” packages on offer led UK firms to join forces and draft in specialist sports firms. Other UK firms on the 11-strong shortlist include BDP, And Architects, Aedas, Maber and S&P Architects.

In related news, HOK Sport’s head of business development has quit the company after it emerged that the practice made a loss over the last two years.

Barry Lowe was instrumental in winning the contracts to design the Olympic and Wembley stadiums and the O2 arena. It is understood he will join Abu Dhabi-based developer John Buck International, reports Building.