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China: Olympic design finalists named

The final blueprint of the Wukesong Cultural and Sports Centre will be chosen from among several designs by the…

The final blueprint of the Wukesong Cultural and Sports Centre will be chosen from among several designs by the US architecture company Sasaki Associates and one design by Burckhard+Partner AG of Switzerland, a top official with the Beijing Municipal City Planning Committee announced recently.

The two companies tied for second prize on July 14 in the global design competition for the Wukesong Centre. First prize was not awarded as no design was deemed good enough for the top prize.

The detailed layout will be submitted to the Beijing municipal government by early September for approval after being evaluated by experts, Huang Yan, vice-director of the planning committee, said recently.

Huang emphasized that the final layout will be amended on the basis of opinions from residents all over the city.

Different from the experts` choices, the design by the Beijing Urban Architecture Design Institute in partnership with Canadian design company ABCP topped the audience voting during an open exhibition at the Beijing International Convention Centre, which closed recently.

The design won an excellent prize in the previous global competition, after the five winning plans were named first, second and third-rated layouts for Wukesong Centre.

Although many residents appreciated this design very much, it lacks feasibility, said Chen Jianjun, an official with the planning committee.

However, we will adopt the advantages of this design as much as possible as an act of respecting audiences` opinions, Chen said.

Nearly 50,000 people visited the 14-day free exhibition of proposed layouts of Olympic Green and Wukesong Cultural and Sports Centre, the close of which was postponed for three days due to unexpected audience flow.

The audience came from all walks of life, including professionals, students, the retired and other residents from Beijing, as well as other provinces, according to sources from the planning committee, which organized the exhibition.

Nearly 10 per cent of the visitors voted for their favourite and more than 1,200 people wrote advice and complaints in the visitors` books.

We express our sincere thanks to our citizens for their passion to take part in the preparations for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, said Huang.

Some deputies to the Beijing Municipal People`s Congress also offered advice on the construction of Olympic venues.

Ma Xinyun, a member of the congress` culture, health and sports committee and director of the Xuanwu District Sports Commission pointed out that the construction of different venues should take the characteristics of various sports into consideration to avoid possible inconvenience for athletes.

Ma also advised connecting most venues by metro and light railway to make entry and exit smooth.

During a visit to the exhibition recently, Vice-Premier Li Lanqing emphasized that all relevant departments should co-operate closely in venue construction and other preparations for the 2008 Games.

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