June 24 - The £355 million International Broadcast Centre (IBC) and Main Press Centre (MPC) for London 2012 is on track after plans were approved by the Olympic Park Planning Committee last night.
The Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) said today that 90 per cent of piling for the project was complete and that buildings will start coming out of the ground soon.
The IBC/MPC will be home to 20,000 broadcasters, photographers and journalists during the London 2012 Olympics.
Last month Allies & Morrison, which had been replaced as lead architect on the controversial scheme by RPS Burks Green, was brought back after a report from the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment (CABE) called plans “extremely weak”.
Changes to the design include new cladding more colourful design and detailing for the 29,000m2 MPC office block; new chequerboard cladding design for the 60,000m2 IBC studios and new cladding design for the permanent section of the media transport mall which remains in legacy.
A decision on the application was originally due two weeks ago but was pushed back to allow planning committee members to take in responses to the design changes.
David Higgins, the chief executive of the ODA, said: “The ‘big build’ of the IBC/MPC is right on track.
"The foundations are progressing at pace with over 90 per cent of the piling complete and following this important milestone buildings will start to come out of the ground.
“The IBC/MPC will provide a quality working environment for media during the Games while delivering flexible employment space for a range of potential legacy tenants and users.
Sebastian Coe, the chairman of London 2012, said: “This decision marks a significant step towards the provision of the best possible working environment and technology for the 20,000 members of the world's broadcasters, press and photographers in the summer of 2012.”
Mayor of Hackney Jules Pipe said: “We are pleased improvements have been made to the design of the IBC which enables the building to be more flexible for its legacy use.
"We welcome the ongoing commitment to refining the MPC design and finish to ensure a building of quality that can become the home for creative industries in legacy.”
Olympics Minister Tessa Jowell said this latest decision demonstrated that the project to build the facilities for London 2012 was progressing well.
She said: "With just over three years to go the big build is well and truly underway.
"The Media Centre will provide state-of-the-art facilities for thousands of press when they come to London in 2012 and help to relay the excitement around the world.
"After the Games the IBC/MP can then be modified for use by businesses and has the potential to be the beating heart of London 's growing digital economy.”