Deserved recognition for Olympic architects

Wednesday 30 Jan 2013

Deal agreed for architects and suppliers to promote London Olympics design work

The architecture and infrastructure design of the London Olympic Park and its sporting venues was celebrated in worldwide media before, after and during the Games, but very few of the architects or suppliers who worked on the projects were able to speak openly about their designs due to tight restrictions enforced by the UK Government.

This week, a major deal has been struck which will enable these parties to speak up about their involvement and claim recognition for their work. During the 2012 London Olympic Games this past summer, Founder of Blueprint and Chairman of New London Architecture Peter Murray headed a campaign with President of the Royal Institute of British Architects Angela Brady and John Nolan of ISE to allow those involved to promote their designs.

Of the decision to overturn the ban, Brady said: “I am delighted to hear that our architects, engineers and design teams are being recognised for their tremendous efforts in designing the stunning Olympic Park and village in London. The majority of the architects and designers we were standing up for in the campaign were young small businesses who just wanted to be able to promote their work. It’s great that they are now able to speak freely about their contribution to the success of the 2012 Games and get the recognition they deserve.”

There are a wide variety of stadium and venue designs dotted throughout the park but only a few have been widely credited, such as the Populous-designed Olympic Stadium, the Aquatics Centre by Zaha Hadid Architects and the Velodrome by Hopkins Architects. Schemes such as the temporary shooting venue at Royal Artillery Barracks by Magma Architecture and Primary Substation by NORD Architecture have had little coverage as the architects - like many others in the park - have been silenced by the Government ban but it is likely that both print and online publications will revisit the design work in detail now that sanctions have been lifted.

The agreement between the UK Government, British Olympic Association (BOA) and International Olympic Committee (IOC) has been reached in an effort to boost the country’s economy by helping the companies involved to secure new work as their completed projects are recognised by developers and potential clients.

Speaking on the news, Sir John Armitt, Chairman of the Olympic Delivery Authority said: “Business in Britain can now really build on the huge amount [these architects and designers] have already achieved. UK firms won 98% of more than £6bn worth of contracts to construct venues and infrastructure for the Games, helping their finances in a difficult economic climate, keeping workers in jobs, boosting skills and equipping firms to win lucrative contracts in the future, at home and abroad. This ground-breaking new scheme will let them make the most of London 2012 and their involvement.”

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