Finalists named in Dome future

Design groups for at least one of the two shortlisted new-use bids for the Millennium Dome will be confirmed in the next few days.

The contest for recycling the Dome is now down to two bids: Dome Europe and Legacy.

Dome Europe has been in closed discussions with consultants for a design-heavy £100m entertainment proposal. It would rethink the attraction’s original concept, resurrecting the Dome as an entertainment site.

Legacy’s development, the second remaining bid, would turn the site into a campus for start-up and established hi-tech and creative enterprises. So far no significant design investment has been made.

Until this round, design has played little part in a bidding contest which has tended to focus on written proposals. As a Legacy spokesman puts it: “It has been about winning so far, rather than design.”

Legacy will not be looking too closely at design unless it is awarded the Dome lease. “It will not be until the contract is awarded that we begin developing our design concepts. Then the design side will be overseen by our architect Lifschutz Davidson,” says the Legacy spokesman.

Dome Europe plans to reveal its design team line up in the coming days, with talks almost closed.

“We have had preliminary discussions with design companies and there will be possibly three or four involved. We want the designers to work with us to create a visitor attraction that is world class,” says Dome Europe chairman Peter Middleton.

“The original vision for the Dome was well-conceived but the execution was disappointing,” Middleton adds.

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