Designers step up to the Dome revamp challenge

More than five years after its completion, the Millennium Dome is once again set to test the mettle of designers through its reincarnation as ‘The O2’.

The move to turn the much-reviled venue into a physical manifestation of the O2 brand was announced last week in a £6m-per-year sponsorship deal between the mobile network and dome developer Anschutz Entertainment Group.

O2 brand guardian Lambie-Nairn is overseeing the development of the initial design concepts for a huge range of O2-backed facilities inside the dome, including a 23 000-seat music arena which will occupy a third of the site, an ice rink, a 2200-capacity music club, an ice bar and a series of branded ‘refresh bubbles’ for punters to relax in and enjoy a massage.

Three architects are redesigning specific areas of the £500m dome redevelopment site: HOK London is working on the main arena, Gensler is working on other sections of the dome including the music club, while RTKL is developing the waterfront area around the site with new offices, a hotel, a school and a health centre.

An AEG spokesman confirms that sections of North Greenwich station are also likely to be refurbished to improve the area’s transport links.

O2 head of brand Susie Moore and O2 head of brand experience Amanda Jennings have put together a creative steering committee to oversee the work, consisting of Lambie-Nairn, RTKL, Gensler, HOK and incumbent ad agency VCCP. Moore says if further appointments of 3D and interiors groups are made over the next two years they will be tightly managed to keep the creative collaboration on track.

Other parts of the dome development will house leisure venues including eight bars, ten restaurants, a ten-screen cinema, a selection of jazz clubs, an 1800-seat theatre, and a Museum of British Music. A half-mile street will encircle the site, which is likely to house a super casino if Government legislation is passed in time.

Other brand owners are being sought to sponsor the venues, says AEG president Europe David Campbell.

The 02 Creative Steering committee

• O2 and AEG

• Lambie-Nairn

• RTKL

• Gensler

• HOK London

• Vallance Carruthers Coleman Priest

• 3D and interior design groups may be added

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