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Rod Sheard on Designing the Olympic Stadium and Sustainability (VIDEO)

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Common consensus holds that a building of a certain scale, unless something extreme occurs, tends to be an unchanging landmark. Not so, according to Rod Sheard, Senior Principle of Populous architects and designer of the Olympic Stadium. In his interview with Crane.tv, Sheard questions whether the age old idea that architects should design buildings with longevity in mind is a thing of the past: "...are more of our buildings for the 21st century able to benefit from a thought process that says: do they all have to be permanent?"

The idea of buildings of such a scale being temporary seems absurd. However, Sheard is not suggesting that buildings should be disposable, rather that in a time where sustainability - a notion central to London 2012 - is key, perhaps we should design buildings that are recyclable. This is exactly the outlook of Sheard and his team when designing the stadium:

"[it's] a series of pieces, of components, that could go together in one particular way for the Olympic games and then could be reassembled and put back in a different way for whatever might happen afterwards."

The recent news that Battersea Power Station is finally going to breathe again is welcome news. Although it won't stay true to its original purpose as a power station, why let a space like that stagnate when it can be useful again? Why do we cling on to buildings, fighting to keep them when their original glory is a thing of the distant past? Look at the sadness surrounding the demolition of the Empire Stadium even though it was always to be reborn in 2007 as the new Wembley. Melancholy videos of the "Twin Towers" still rack up views on YouTube and people viewed the event as a death of a friend.

However, is this because of the building itself or the drama and emotion it housed over the years? And what about the Olympic Stadium? Will the chants of the Hammers fans keep the cheers as Ennis won gold alive? Or will it drown them out?

Text by Leila deVito for Crane.tv

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