Thursday, 30 April 2009

Leabank Square Extremely Disappointed with Olympic Architects!!

Take a look at the picture above - you are going to be so sick of looking at it for the next couple of decades!!!

This is the best the Olympics could come up with as part of OUR legacy!!!!!

This is the reward we have been given for giving them OUR beloved green lung - Arena Fields!!!!

Thanks to everyone who has sent me comments, emails, letters, had chats in the gardens, etc! There is not a single resident of Arena Fields (nor Wick Village next door!!) who likes the design for the International Broadcast Centre & Main Press Centre!

Again - Hackney Wick has been dumped on by the Olympic Delivery Authority! We have always been seen as the poorest neighbour of the whole Olympic Park - and their attitude is that we should be grateful for anything we get.

Well - we had a perfectly beautiful green park in Arena Fields directly opposite us - and now we have two massive blocks of steel & glass instead. My children's lego creations have more imagination, beauty & practical use - than what Hackney Wick is going to get as a legacy!

I was at a meeting last week where a suit from the Olympics was telling us that the buildings 'will come alive' when the cladding is put on. Putting all your suggestions about living walls to him - he nearly passed out! Leabank Square - he's 'not sure' about living walls - but how about a nice greeny/greyee dappled metal finish?!

So - they took away Arena Fields - with our orchard & trees - and gave given us two massive glass & steel blocks - and won't even consider cladding them in beautiful green, living, growing plants?!

Some legacy!!!

Even CABE (the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment - who advise on well-designed buildings, places and spaces) said that:

"The architecture as shown is extremely weak, lacking real conviction as to how it could work in Transition and Legacy, and in the case of the IBC revealing a paucity of imagination and analysis which we find deeply disappointing.

In relation to specific buildings on the site, our greatest concern is the extraordinary banality of the IBC ‘mega structure’. In our view, it is simply not good enough as currently proposed. We would go so far as to say that its continued presence would blight rather than enhance the Olympic Legacy. We believe that a fundamental rethink needs to be undertaken in respect of the external appearance of this building. Otherwise the public might well ask why this sort of building, which has been removed from the Lower Lee Valley in order to create a vibrant new future, is being reinstated at a larger scale." (

And guess who the Olympic Delivery Authority need to submit the plans to in order to get permission to carry this architectural monstrosity forward? Themselves!

That's right Leabank Square! The Olympics give themselves permission to build anything they want on our Arena Fields!

Hackney Council has no say. Boris Johnson has no say. Meg Hillier has no say (not that she ever does!). Gordon Brown has no say.

The Olympics decide what is best for us oiks across the canal to stare at for the next 50 years. And the picture above is the best they've come up with!


Paul said...

Sometimes you're a bit too restrained you know?

Why didn't you write what we really said about this lump of dog mess? Swear-words & all!!

How can this architect even call themselves that? Isn't there an Intitute of Architects that we can repot her/him to? Aren't they absolutely ashamed of the thing they created?

Are they seriously going to be proud of coming to visit Hackney Wick in years to come with their grand-children - and saying that they designed it?!?!

Su said...

Yeah Sóna - I remember the words at our meeting being a bit fruitier when describing this white elephant.
But I also remember what you once said about the kids on the purple Hype! bus reading & commenting on this blog - so fair dues.
Did you mamange to find out just who the architect/s for the cenre are? Is it not possible for us to write to them asking if they could come down & meet us for a look-see chat?
Please could you ask the lot you talk to about the name & adress for the architect?

Dirk said...

Hi Shona

If we were across the canal from Hampstead Heath or Wimbledon Common - they would have been to scared to design something like this!

But it's only Hackney Wick - so let's lay a tower block on its side and the scum locals will absolutely love it!

Mind you - if we were next to Hampledon - they wouldn't have got hold of Arena Fields in the first place!

Anonymous said...

RIBA - Royal Institute of British Architecture - blogs are at

Tell them what you think.

Anonymous said...

The blogs are posted by individual RIBA members so your comment should be addressed to the member who's uploaded the post that you're adding the comment to.

The other RIBA contact details are:

Tel: +44 207 580 5533
Fax: +44 207 255 1541
66 Portland Place
London W1B 1AD

Anonymous said...

Back in 2005 the Guardian's architecture columnist Dejan Sudjik wrote an article for the Observer "
Building an Olympic vision - It's not enough to put on a memorable Games: the structures left behind should look to the future too"

You should be able to contact him via
or the main Guardian / Observer switchboard: 020 3353 2000

Another person who might be interested is the anti-carbuncle protestor. Prince Charles has just engaged battle with RIBA again, this time over the way Richard Rogers and all the other elitists are destroying the Thames riverside with their luxury pads for the super-rich (social housing tacked on for planning permission). He might well be interested in another bit of architectural contempt for the public.
There's a contact form at his website but to get an individual response you need to wirte a letter to
HRH The Prince of Wales
Clarence House
London, SW1A 1BA.

Good luck!

Anonymous said...

By the way, feel free to amalgamate all my comments together in one, and then delete this one.

Anonymous said...

One last word - remember - Gordon Brown, Meg Hillier and friends were responsible for giving them that license to moon at you. They're accountable.

Peggy said...

Why do they treat us as irrelevant nuisance neighbours - when it's THEM that needs to get a better architect in to leave us a decent legacy?!

How do they expect any media comapany to want to take over a building that looks like THAT after the games?!

I mean - are they not even slightly EMBARRESSED showing the world that block of nothingness?!

Do they even know that the WHOLE WORLDS media is going to come & laugh their heads off at this joke of a building?


Ms Purple said...

Hey Sóna
Check out the current 'Ackney Today - you'll see good ol' Jules Pipe joining in the debate as well.

Apparently he's taking a stand too. He wants a re-think on the design before they start cladding it.

Dirks right about them thinking they can only get away with it 'cos it's us working clarses what live opposite it - we're not likely to kick up a fuss now are we?

Well - thankfully they can't hack into our secure site to see what kindoffa fuss we ARE gonna create!
Ms Purple

Meagan said...

Can't you make some noise at that Wick Partnership do you keep going to?
That would be the perfect platform to kick & shout - all them big wigs you get coming to see you lot.
We need a much better bunch a buildings than what they showing us just now!

Paul said...

Hi Sóna
What was that irritating noise about all of last night?! Why was the engine left on ALL the way through the night? It wasn't particulalry loud - but HUGELY irritating!
I kept waking up thinking I should give them a call, but drifted off to a light sleep - only to start the whole prcess again - at least twice an hour.
Needless to say I'm about to cycle to Vauxhall with hardly any sleep in my head! Please could you find out what happened today, and ask them to sort it out?
Thanks Paul

José said...

Paul, check out the World Environment Day posting to see how it also kept others in our block up the whole night as well. Sóna DID call TWICE(!) and some idiot told him that nothing has changed for 6 weeks. They are trying to make out as if WE are going mad.

SOMETHING has changed! We might have heard a very low rumble all night for months now - but this WAS different! It was definetly an engine without ANY mitigating noise reduction.

I called Hackney Council last night but can't get through this morning to see what they thought last night. Paul, please next time, get out of bed, and CALL. We can't ignore these irritants, they WILL only push the boundaries more next time, more the following, and so on!

Luke said...

You'd better check out what the students are planning with the Hackney Gazette. Please get some answers from the ODA & phone the digs flats up to put out some fires!
I know they're peed off about not having peace & quiet to write dissertations - but they could seriously mess the environment projects up for us.

John said...

Hi again Sóna
I know we only spoke a few minutes ago, but I've just seen the revised plans submitted for the IPC/MPC and there is no improvement whatsoever!

Please - I implore you - make as much noise through the council as you can. Like you - I want my family to live here for many decades to come - and we simply cannot have a set of buildings like that as our legacy!

Max said...

You know - Owens absolutely right! Meg Hillier should be making noises about the ODA dropping another million tons on concrete & glass on Hackney Wick!
Until the next election - she is the elected representative for the Wick - and it is her responsibility to fight our corner!
She needs to be dumping on top of the ODA's heads from a great height about the legacy value of the design of this building!
I know we are going to have an independent MP after the next election - but for now - she needs to make sure she won't be forever remembered as the MP who oversaw this fiasco!

Su said...

But Max - you've forgotten just how useless she actually is!
Log on to the secure email system to see just what we are doing about her & seperately about this giant clinic.

William said...

Hi Sóna

If we ARE stuck with this crap design - then its a scandal!

But if we ARE - then it ALL comes down to cladding again I'm afraid.

Why were they so dismissive about living walls? We have got to push this with them. If we ARE to get a box - then at least lets make it either blend into the riverside landscape with plants - or soften the edges AGAIN with plants!!!

We must push this at every opportunity we get from now on!



Dave said...

Hello Sóna
I don't ever recall saying I was 'extremely dissapointed' with the design of the IPC.
I recall screaming about the witless architects, I remember shouting at all attendees about Hackney Wick being an afterthought yet again, I most definetley used all the colours of the rainbow speech describing just what I thought about this giant abandoned fridge of a building!

Extremely Dissapointed just does not cut it I'm afraid!! Could you not start up a second Leabank Square Blog where we ARE allowed use language that shows each other JUST EXACTLY how we are all feeling?