21 June 2011 –Debate is heightening on the Treehugger website about whether the 2012 London Olympic basketball venue is the ugliest building yet.
One subscriber, Lloyd Alter of the company, Design and Architecture, describes the venue as, “looking like the shrink-wrapped boats you see at marinas in winter. Like a giant bunion pad.
“Now I know this is not a money-no-object extravaganza like Beijing was, but British architects have done great temporary designs, from Archigram in the sixties to Mark Fisher and Jonathan Park with their rock sets for the Rolling Stones and Pink Floyd. They know how to do scaffolding. How has it come to this”?
Designed by architects Wilkinson Eyre and KSS design, the arena is collapsible and can be taken apart after the games to be used elsewhere.
It is 35 metres high and longer than a soccer field at 115 metres long. Its frame is wrapped in 20,000 square metres of recyclable white PVC membrane, stretched over three different variations of arched panels.
It is made by Envirowrap, a company that specialises in sheeting systems that are recyclable and environmental. All the venue’s facilities including elevators, toilet blocks, corridors and VIP access rooms are installed beneath the seating frame.
But as another subscriber put it, “We love IKEA, but where’s the architecture”