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London 2012 Olympic Games 
Thursday 01 Apr 2010
 
Olympic progress 
 
Arup 
 
Your comments on this project

No. of Comments: 8

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22/09/10 rosepoet, brighton
This 'piece of art' is like a deformed waste paper basket, and will confirm to the world that we are all undoubtedly basket-cases. Why does it have to be so wretchedly UGLY? I think that spending money on Art in a recession is undoubtedly a good idea, because Art enriches life, and underlines the need to see far beyond the temporary economic problem, but this is not a Michaelangelo, this is like an Ikea waste paper bin that has been sat on. A damning indictment of the taste and good sense of those in control of the 2012 Olympics.
I am aware that the Eiffel Tower was hugely unpopular, that Bizet's Carmen was hooted off the stage...popular taste can be behind the times. But this shoddy construction will not eventually endear itself to us, because it is so vast, and vastly horrible. What a missed opportunity.
However the British are famed for their sense of humour, and so it will vastly amuse future generations, that anyone could have thought this eyesore was a good choice!
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08/04/10 Iva, SYDNEY
I call it The AWFUL TOWER so far! Unlike the Aifel Tower a classic.
The name Obirtal is ok, however the steel wreckage & mess should make
way for a free form TREE-LIKE structure that is more fluid & in tune with
the natural earth. It would have SOLAR LEAF PANELS & the FREEFORM
& LEANING TRUNK-CORE/S that have TRANSPARENCY so one can engage in wonderful views on the way up by CACOON LIFTS or on foot systems.
Also a TOP with a HORIZONTAL GENTLE WIND TURBINE to help generate some power! In addition to the use of all the most functional, economical & modern building technology & materials.
That is my IDEA.
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07/04/10 Mike, Dubai
One can only hope, given the date of publishing, that we are being fooled!
07/04/10 Pawel, Wroclaw
ArcelorMittal Orbit..... What a bizzare structure. I believe the author must have lost perspective at some point. Happens to them architects quite often when they get so used to the design that they can't judge it properly. Anyway, someone else had to approve that ugly structure for construction:).
07/04/10 J Hayward, London
I agree with the previous comment, Kapoors sculpture seems clumsy and irrelevant, both in relation to his recent body of work and the Olympic site in general.
07/04/10 Keith, London
If the Logo wasn't bad enough already! One wonders: how was this presented and who approved it? What alternatives were proposed and why were they rejected in favour of this? One can only hope that the public will not let Johnson, Kapoor and Mittal get away with this monument to over-inflated egos, excess of money and perverted aesthetic taste. It is a demented fairground ride, the Emperor's new clothes. London needs elegant designs of lasting beauty that grace the skyline and may be appreciated by all such as the Skylon (as mentioned by another commentator), the BT Tower, St. Mary Axe ("Gherkin") and the London Eye. Not this, please!
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07/04/10 Iva, Sydney
What a waste of public money on a tower that appears to represent and
a reflect on the expanding & building of poor quality values in society.
A poor image striving to get attention by being radical & also very ugly, again
another presentation of some minority adding uglyines & counter harmony
to a landscape. Explain it & sell it you may how you like it's still just crap!
It is merly a collettion of ugly forms that are cleverly explained & sold off to the
public & a long term eyesore & controversy hoping for tourist dollars, a reminer of naked strerakers at sporting grounds, thugs at sports etc.
Yes you are supporting the destructivness, radical etc. or perhaps trying to
gain their approval & respect.
A call it the AWFUL TOWER!
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06/04/10 Paul Zara, Brighton
Don't get me wrong, I love the architecture of the London Olympics and I love Anish Kapoor's work, but the (catchily-named) ArcelorMittal Orbit is ugly. Really ugly. I see no connection between Kapoor's recent work and this twisted metal 'thing'.

Compare it to the elegance of Powell & Moya's Skylon at the Festival of Britain. Or Heatherwick's 'B of the Bang' (or was that 'C of the Clang' - sorry Thomas, that was bad luck!). They are in a different league.
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Editorial

On pace to finish London 2012 games venues on time and budget 

Construction of the much-anticipated London 2012 Summer Olympic facilities is both on budget (£9.3bn) and on time, despite media jibes that the Olympic budget is too tight. The 250-acre Olympic Park in the heart of east London has been designed as a green backdrop to the Games, with multiple ‘Henman Hill’ and ‘Murray Mound’ style structures so that spectators can view the competition live from within the Park on large video screens. A deluge of fantastic new structures, both temporary and permanent, is planned for a 2.5 sq km site of previously industrial contaminated land in east London. Currently, the construction of all new main venues and infrastructure in the Olympic Park is underway.

At the centre of all media attention is the Olympic Stadium, which is set to hold the Athletics and Paralympics Athletics in summer 2012. Located south of the Olympic Park, the permanent structure will seat a staggering 80,000 spectators, whist the canny design means that post-Olympics, 55,000 of these seats can be whisked out to provide a much smaller, more intimate venue. The brains behind this proposal are the global design firm Populous, formerly HOK Sport. Plans show that the Olympic Stadium will boast a 20m high ‘wrap’, which will encircle the stadium’s upper tier (the section that will be dismantled at the end of the games) to shade, protect and support the 108,500 sq. m. structure. The stadium itself will be surrounded by waterways on three sides, with access provided via five new bridges, built especially as part of the London 2012 project. With more than 30 previous buildings being demolished to make space for this vast stadium, there is ever-mounting pressure for the structure to be completed on budget, on time and to the high standards of the expectant public.

One new bridge will extend over the roof of the new Aquatics Centre, designed by Zaha Hadid. Like the Olympic Stadium, whilst the Aquatics Centre is set to be a permanent fixture on the site, it will be temporarily expanded while the games are in progress. Alongside a swimming and diving facility with capacity to seat 17,500, will be a water polo base, created by David Morley Architects, capable of seating a modest 5,000 spectators. Construction of this facility will commence in spring 2011, with completion scheduled for spring 2012, leaving time for final testing before the 2012 Olympic Games. The entire Aquatics Centre is designed to be a ‘gateway’ for the Olympic Park, as it is believed that two-thirds of visitors will enter the Park via the elevated 40m wide, 250m long footbridge above the Centre.

Situated within walking distance of the Olympic Park, (and a seven-minute high-speed shuttle ride) is the Athlete’s Village, which will provide residential accommodation to approximately 17,000 athletes and officials during the summer games. In an attempt to retain a sense of London tradition, the Village was designed around a series of central courtyards, which will include water features in an attempt to accentuate the neighbouring River Lea. There are also plans for a ‘Village Plaza’ – a central communal space where athletes can relax and socialise with friends, family and their competitors. Residences are set to have exceptional views across the London cityscape, with comfortable accommodation and state-of-the-art technology throughout. After the Olympics are over, plans call to convert the Athletes Village into essential new residences for the East London area, creating 2,800 new homes, 1,379 of which have been classified as ‘affordable’. Post-Olympic plans for this site also include designs for a new educational facility, Chobham Academy – a world-class campus for 1,800 children aged 3-19.

Arguably the most iconic, and perhaps controversial, structure that we are set to see from the London 2012 Olympic project is the ‘The ArcelorMittal Orbit’ – a £19.1million, 115m high visitor centre designed by award-winning architect Anish Kapoor. The project, announced 31 March by London Mayor Boris Johnson and Lakshmi Mittal, chairman and CEO of ArcelorMittal, will be constructed using continuous tubes of scarlet steel to form a dramatic latticework effect. Both lifts and stairs will be built into the form, offering visitors a variety of options to reach the elevated viewing platforms and restaurant, with unobstructed views across the Olympic Park to the London cityscape beyond. Developed in collaboration with Cecil Balmond of Arup, the design may be noted as a classic example of Anish Kapoor’s colourful, large scale and controversial architectural projects.

With an impressive list of architecture firms including Vogt Landschaftarchitekten, Patel Taylor, Fletcher Priest, MAKE, Piercy Conner and Glen Howells currently working on Olympic venues, the many new and refurbished facilities are, at the time of writing, on time and budget. The London 2012 Olympic buildings not only offer a wide variety of tastes, styles and finishes, but showcase the very best in architectural design. In this marathon, there is still no clear winner in terms of design, finish or architectural flair, (although my money is on Anish Kapoor’s Orbit) however on the brink of spring 2010, it may just be too early to call.

Sian Disson
Editorial Assistant

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