Olympic Delivering Authority (ODA)
A competition proposal for a temporary Water Polo venue for the London Olympic Park 2012.
As one of the first buildings to be seen on arrival at the Olympic Park and a significant structure at the heart of the campus, it was essential to create a building to enhance the visitor experience. At the same time the temporary nature of the venue meant that we had to create a cost effective solution to provide dramatic impact, as well as ideal playing and viewing conditions within a largely reusable or recyclable structure.
Our design for the venue incorporated a soft undulating form in response to both the function of the building and the architecture of the Aquatics Centre. Simple, cost effective, modular components were proposed to create a dramatic and memorable internal space appropriate for an Olympic event.
The most prominent element of the venue was the west elevation that would face, across the river, to the stadium. Visible from the adjacent park, the structure form effectively created the opportunity for an enormous bill board, which our building presented as a huge uninterrupted vertical plane, 25m high and almost 100m long.
The temporary nature of the venue suggested that its imagery should be directly related to the event, without the usual constraints of providing a façade that will not date or look out of place in a few years. We proposed to turn the side of the Polo building into a giant ‘canvas’ on which a team of urban artists could day-by-day, document the unfolding story of the games.