Page last updated at 07:22 GMT, Tuesday, 28 April 2009 08:22 UK

Olympic buildings 'are a blight'

Computer generated images of what the building might look like
The designs were described as extremely weak

The design for the London 2012 media centre could "blight the Olympic legacy", it has been claimed.

The Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment, the government's adviser on urban design, said it has serious concerns about the buildings.

It said the steel and glass structure covering 900,000 sq ft did not go far enough to help regenerate east London.

The Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) said work on the external appearance of the two buildings is ongoing.

The commission said it had reviewed all of the key projects for the Games and in the majority of proposals has praised the ODA's determination to deliver good design and a strong legacy.

'Large monolithic block'

But it added that the designs for the International Broadcast Centre (IBC) and Main Press Centre (MPC) were "extremely weak".

The design for the IBC, which will be based in Lower Lea Valley, showed a "paucity of imagination" and the Cabe panel believes it could even "blight the Olympic Legacy", Cabe said.

It added that "more work is also needed to improve the large monolithic block of the MPC".

Paul Finch, chair of the London 2012 design review panel, said: "Unless there is a fundamental rethink, then people could be forgiven for wondering why sheds have been removed from the Lower Lea Valley in the name of high quality urban regeneration, only to be reinstated at a much larger scale."

A spokesman for the ODA said: "We have worked closely with our partners to agree a compact and efficient media centre, within the layout given planning approval in 2007, to maximise value for the taxpayer and ensure a sustainable legacy.

"The IBC/MPC works well during Games time and provides a flexible employment space in legacy for a range of potential legacy uses

"Work on the external appearance of the buildings is ongoing and we look forward to discussing this further with CABE and other partners."

Construction work on the IBC/MPC began this month.

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