Saturday, June 27, 2009

RMJM secures Glasgow games commission

Architects who helped to build the controversial Scottish parliament, which went over budget, have been chosen to design a £300m ($493m) athletes’ village for the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

Edinburgh-based RMJM, one of the UK’s biggest architectural practices, is part of the consortium named as preferred bidder for the complex, which will be one of Scotland’s largest regeneration projects.

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The development will house accommodation and facilities for up to 8,000 competitors and officials at Dalmarnock, a deprived community in the east end of Glasgow, near the banks of the Clyde. The village will provide 1,400 homes for sale and rent after the games. Work is due to begin at the end of next year.

RMJM collaborated with Enric Miralles, the Catalan architect, on the Scottish parliament in Edinburgh. The building ended up costing £430m – more than 10 times the initial estimates. An inquiry into the Holyrood saga by Lord Fraser, a Conservative peer, found there was no single “villain of the piece”, but criticised politicians for constantly changing specifications for the building.

Steven Purcell, leader of Glasgow city council, said: “The athletes’ village will be one of the most recognisable aspects of the legacy of the 2014 Commonwealth Games – and certainly one of the most important.

“I look forward to the successful delivery of a key part of the games and, later, the creation of a stunning new neighbourhood for the city as Glasgow’s regeneration continues.” About 620 people will be employed in the development of the site. More than 90 jobs will be created and the project will employ 60 apprentices.

Glasgow city council will make the village site available to the City Legacy consortium at no cost to reduce borrowing requirements.

The developer will enter into a profit-sharing arrangement with the council at the end of the project.

Shona Robison, Scotland’s sports minister, said: “The creation of the athletes’ village will sustain jobs, regenerate the east end of Glasgow and contribute towards Scotland’s economic recovery as we build up to the launch of our plans to create a successful legacy from 2014 to benefit the whole of Scotland.”

RMJM has been awarded a contract at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi to be planning consultant for six venues. The group said its experiences with the Delhi games would help towards the design of a successful games village for Glasgow.

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