Friday, 11 September 2009

London's Olympic Stadium

Still recovering from the painful sight of the London 2012 Olympic logo, I saw the pictures for the new Olympic stadium last week, which sadly, I cannot say is any better. "No one can say wev'e compromised on design, on sustainability, or on the legacy potential', says olympics minister Tessa Jowell, I beg to differ. The Olympic stadium maybe practical, but it is dull, underwhelming and doesn't fit into the landscape around it. The initial concept has been changed to a more economical version that allows for 80,000 seats to then be converted into a 25,000 capacity stadium after the games.

After seeing the Super Contemporary exhibition that celebrated London's worldwide creative reputation and achievements, I have to wonder why this building doesn't use that opportunity. The Olympics is the one time for Britain to show off it's creative talent to the rest of the world, and the Olympic stadium doesn't do justice to portraying our diverse architecture. Especially in comparison to the 2008 Beijing Olympic Stadium which is a fantastic piece of architecture that celebrates China's culture. Also known as the birds nest, the 

stadium is imaginative and aesthetically pleasing, and looks more like a work of art than a sports arena. It also compliments the landscape around it, whereas the London stadium sticks out like a sore thumb. 
The London arena certainly reflects our current economic climate. It has been built to be practical and sustainable, seating a high capacity, with very little thought to aesthetics. There has been no concept, imagination or creativity in the design of the building. I agree with the critics who say it looks like 'a fruit bowl'. Tom Dykhoff, The Times' architecture critic wrote that the 2008 and 2012 olympics will be seen in years to come by historians as 'a cunning indicator of the decline of the west and the rise of the east'. 
Whilst it is important to set a budget in these economical conditions, does that really mean at the sacrifice of good design?

1 comment:

  1. I think the fact that China spent over £22billion on the games compared to our £8billion plays a part...