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Excellent Olympic Speed Dating for London Architects

London Architectural practices are being offered the opportunity of a “hot date” with the people responsible for the 2012 Olympic infrastructure on 15 February. So if they fail to achieve their Valentine’s Day ambitions, they have a chance to woo the ODA, LOCOG, Design for London and other major commissioning bodies.

The event is organised by RIBA London and is taking place at the RIBA headquarters at 66 Portland Place, starting at 7 pm. Playing cupid is Tom Dyckoff, the Times Architecture correspondent, who together with Daisy Froud, Head of Participation and a Partner in the architectural practice, AOC, is hosting the event.

Each of the would be suitors will be given five minutes to make their pitch before being moved on. Among the targets for their approaches are Jerome Frost, Head of Design at the ODA (Olympic Delivery Authority), Derek Wilson, Architectural Advisor at LOCOG (London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games) and representatives from HOK Sport and Allies and Morrison, two of the architectural practices involved in the games.

The event has been organised as a follow up to the RIBA London Annual Dinner in November which focussed on the 2012 Olympic Legacy. RIBA London Chair, Andrew Hanson made a plea on behalf of London’s architects: “London is currently the home of some of the best designers in the world. The RIBA has a tried and tested model for architectural competitions and has a team of experts specifically set up to organise and run them.

“What better way can there be of celebrating London’s claim to be the model of a new type of multi-racial, multicultural city than encouraging architectural diversity by appointing, through tough competition, a multitude of architects to design from, at one extreme, the ticket booths information kiosks and hot-dog stands right up to the major stadia?

“I am fully aware that many of the larger commissions are already underway but there is still time to take your pick of the best designers in the world, and they are available to you locally, literally in some cases on your own door step.”

David Lammy, Minister for the Arts emphasised that “London 2012 will transform people’s lives in one of the poorest areas of London, as well as inspiring greater cultural and sporting activity.” He saw an exciting role for London’s architects in create an immense legacy while demonstrating best design practise.

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