Flickr/EG Focus

Rules meant to protect sponsors prevent architects from winning awards for their Olympic facilities.

Olympics 2012 bug
London gets ready for the Summer Games See full coverage

Sponsor protections for the Olympics have led to an unexpected victim - the architects.

According to the rules, only official sponsors (like McDonald's and Coca Cola) can promote their involvement in the London games. All others must remain mum about their work.

That has made it difficult for architects to showcase the stadiums and venues they designed. For example, Wilkinson Eyre Architects, the firm responsible for the new basketball arena (above), asked permission from Olympic authorities to enter it for multiple awards. Officials turned the firm down, saying it might conflict with Olympic marketing rules.

In the Guardian, Olympics minister Tessa Jowell criticized that decision. Jowell emphasized that the rules in place were never intended to keep architects from receiving honors. According to the story:

 "I am concerned to hear that businesses such as Wilkinson Eyre, who have designed the stunning Basketball Arena, are finding themselves unable to put themselves forward for awards ceremonies to promote that good work," said Jowell.  "This kind of stricture was never the intention when the rules were designed. I hope that a reasonable compromise can be found so that these great British architects can get the recognition that they deserve."

The architects have since been presented with a "protest award," announced last week at the 2012 New London Awards.

According to a report from Olympic Delivery Authority chairman Sir John Armitt, the next 12 to 18 months are crucial publicity time for builders. But it is "virtually impossible" for architects to advertise their work as of now.

According to the same Guardian article, government officials claimed the issue is unlikely to be addressed until after the conclusion of the Games when LOCOG hands over control to the British Olympic Association

Top image courtesy Flickr user EG Focus

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. photo: subway in NYC
    Transportation

    Inside Bloomberg's $1 Trillion Infrastructure Plan

    Drawing on his time as New York City mayor, Michael Bloomberg proposes handing power and money to urban leaders as part of his Democratic presidential bid.

  2. Environment

    Housing Discrimination Made Summers Even Hotter

    The practice of redlining in the 1930s helps explain why poorer U.S. neighborhoods experience more extreme heat.

  3. Transportation

    In Paris, a Very Progressive Agenda Is Going Mainstream

    Boosted by big sustainability wins, Mayor Anne Hidalgo is pitching bold plans to make the city center “100 percent bicycle” and turn office space into housing.

  4. photo: a couple tries out a mattress in a store.
    Equity

    What’s the Future of the ‘Sleep Economy’?

    As bed-in-a-box startup Casper files for an IPO, the buzzy mattress seller is betting that the next big thing in sleep is brick-and-mortar retail outlets.

  5. photo: San Diego's Trolley
    Transportation

    Out of Darkness, Light Rail!

    In an era of austere federal funding for urban public transportation, light rail seemed to make sense. Did the little trains of the 1980s pull their own weight?

×