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Olympic influence extolled by architecture critics

18 December 2012 No Comment

In a review of 2012’s best architecture, the Olympics has emerged as the key influence – according to two experts. Architecture critic Ellis Woodman, writing for telegraph.co.uk, hailed the “transformation of 560 acres of contaminated former industrial land in East London” into the Queen Elizabeth II Olympic Park as a “national triumph”.

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This was evidence that Britain’s built environment industry has the ability to change cities for the better, he added.

Olympic park construction praised

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Woodman praised the construction of the new neighbourhoods, open spaces and public buildings around the Park  – places in which people will want to visit and live – as an achievement every bit as impressive as the stadium itself.

Praise for other construction projects including King’s Cross station

The Olympic deadline also provided the push for many other construction projects around the UK, including King’s Cross station’s revamped “curvaceous western concourse”.

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Plus, of course, the much-publicised and very briefly tallest building in Europe, the Shard.

The Shard symbolising London to the world

With its facets of glass external cladding, the Shard divided opinion both professional and public, but was completed just before the Games and has inspired other such projects for the coming years.

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Rowan Moore a critic for the Observer, agreed that after the Olympic buildings, the Shard dominated.

It “instantly took its place alongside St Paul’s and Tower Bridge in TV images symbolising London to the world”, he told guardian.co.uk.

Olympics were the most significant constructional event of the year

Ultimately, however, he too says that the “most significant constructional event of the year” was the Olympics – wherein everyone liked the parks and the Velodrome…

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…but most were left puzzled by the Orbit…

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Author: Elizabeth Smythe    Date Written: 18 December 2012

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