London 2012 Water Polo Temporary Venue (2)
Olympic Delivery Authority
Amendments to the planning application for temporary facilities for the water polo events at the London 2012 Olympic Games. Designed by David Morley Architects.
5 August 2010
Planning reference: 10/90224/FUMODA (amendments)
We also reviewed this scheme on 8 July 2010.
We give our broad support to this well-considered temporary venue. The proposals demonstrate a level of design thinking we would expect for a permanent venue and we applaud the client for selecting the design team with the right skills for the project. We welcome the clear principles informing the design derived from an analysis of the site and the programme. In particular, we support the asymmetric form of the building that opens up views to the main stadium, the use of components from the supply chain that will be re-used or recycled after the Games, and the simple resolution of the movement and access diagram for different user groups. These elements have come together to create a coherent whole.
We support the further iteration of design development undertaken that has resulted in a stronger scheme both internally and externally. The amendments to the entrance elevation emphasize the dynamic asymmetrical building form and the new façade proposition differentiates the venue from the Basketball Stadium. Overall, the relationship of the building to the family of temporary structures, including the Aquatics Centre, has been further enhanced. We also welcome the clearer expression of the component-based assembly of the building in the detailed design.
We commend the design team for the level of thought given to the sloping asymmetrical form of the venue that maintains the primacy of the Main Stadium in the key views approaching the Olympic Park from Stratford City. We support the amended facade proposition and welcome the visual links with the Aquatics Centre through the use of colour and texture. We think the entrance elevation has benefitted from further design attention. The articulation of the primary public access and circulation in relation to the side elevations and suppression of the dominance of the plenum are particularly positive moves.
The distinctive rippling roof will be highly visible, particularly on leaving the Olympic Park at night, so the detailed design, including a well-considered lighting strategy, will be critical. We support the innovative use of air cushions to eliminate the need for secondary roof structure.
We support the proposal to treat the modular accommodation and the sloped access as part of the landscape, allowing the venue enclosure to ‘float’ above. We note that the support accommodation will not be visible from the public concourse, but welcome the proposal to adopt a consistent approach to their colour and window openings.
We think the ongoing work to align the look and feel of the building with that of the Park as a whole is both useful and something to pursue further. In particular, we applaud the introduction of the energy burst to the design of the interior. While we welcome the dynamic geometry and colour introduced to the side elevations, we think that extending the energy burst into the design of the façades should be explored further, at the base in particular. The dark grey interior seems appropriate and we support the authentic expression of the roof trusses.