London 2012 International Broadcast Centre and Main Press Centre (IBC/MPC) (2)
Olympic Delivery Authority
Providing facilities for 20,000 broadcasters and journalists; after the Games the venue will be developed into a business workspace. Designed by Allies and Morrison, and RPS.
4 June 2009
Planning reference: 09/90059/REMODA
We also reviewed this scheme on 23 April 2009.
We appreciate the opportunity to review further iterations of the three key elements of the IBC MPC. We acknowledge the ODA’s efforts to respond to the comments made on the initial planning submission. Our comments on the recent revisions to the application are set out below.
We welcome the new cladding strategy for the car park, which we believe is sensible and will give the building greater visual interest. The use of perforated metal in what will be the Legacy structure has the potential to the give the building a distinctive identity. We are pleased by the contrast this treatment creates between the neutrality of the external appearance and the vitality of the interior. We acknowledge the ODA’s commitment to extend and complete the cladding on all elevations after the demolition of the temporary element, which we assume will be subject to planning conditions.
International Broadcast Centre
We welcome the additional work on the facades of what will be a gargantuan building. The new pattern treatment and the more finessed approached to detailing demonstrate a more rigorous and considered façade strategy. In relation to the ‘checker board’ pattern options which will be fully resolved through planning conditions, we support the architect’s instinctive choice of a smaller scale of pattern. In our view, this would be visually more effective across these vast facades. Similarly, we would also support the preference for strong vertical bands of coloured fabric to cover the gantry elements during Games. We also support the introduction of a simple white expanded metal sheet to conceal the building’s projecting elements and suggest this material and detailed treatment be secured through planning conditions.
We continue to believe that the longer term success of the IBC will largely depend on the effectiveness of the strategy to divide the mega-structure into separate buildings with continuous open frontages at ground level. We are pleased that additional illustrative material has now been submitted with the application, which demonstrates how this more plausible urban condition could work. As drawn, we consider the latest design iterations for the IBC to be an improvement. Subject to appropriate planning conditions, we think what is now shown has merit both as mega-structure and post games pavilions.
Main Press Centre
The additional thinking about the MPC’s external detail shows promise. The new design work provides convincing evidence that profiled metal cladding, when thoughtfully detailed, can provide convincing façade treatments. We appreciate the visual interest achieved through the deployment of coloured louvers and the alternate rain screen treatment which identifies and separates individual bays that in turn break down the expansive elevations. The success of the profiled metal cladding and the revised façade details will depend on their careful execution in practice. We believe these elements should be secured through detailed planning conditions.
In summary, we are encouraged by the further design work which has been commissioned by the ODA. We believe that the revisions to each of the three main elements now demonstrate a continuity of design thinking across the site. With the appropriate planning conditions in place we believe the revisions create the potential for a viable design outcome, both during and after Games.