FaulknerBrowns’ Olympic legacy makes a splash at top industry awards

Newcastle-based architectural firm, FaulknerBrowns, has won two top international awards for its design of one of the London 2012 Olympic Games venues.

The Killingworth firm, which works internationally, received the awards at the prestigious IAKS Congress, which is held in Cologne, for the design of the £31million Lee Valley White Water Centre, home to London 2012’s canoe slalom events where Team GB secured a gold and a silver.

The Awards, which are run by the International Association for Sports and Leisure Facilities (IAKS) together with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and International Paralympic Committee (IPC), are the most important international architecture prizes for sports, leisure and recreational facilities.

Taking place every two years since 1987, the IOC/IAKS Awards have been commending sports facilities for both exemplary design and functionality, with the IPC and IAKS presenting Distinctions for sports facilities demonstrating exceptional accessibility for all.

This year, 95 teams of operators and designers from 30 countries submitted entries in the IOC/IAKS Awards and FaulknerBrowns still heads the table for receipt of the most IAKS awards.

The White Water Centre is comprised of a 300m Olympic standard canoe course and a 160m training course with ‘start’ and ‘finish’ pools. It attracted large attendances prior to the opening of the Games and its popularity has continued since then. It provides facilities for the local community and acts as a leading visitor attraction boasting fun days out for all the family – a legacy which impressed the judges.

Mike Hall, partner at FaulknerBrowns, said:

“We are particularly proud of these awards which celebrate both high quality design and operational functionality, in this case recognising what we feel is a world class venue. We believe these values to be at the heart of successful sports and leisure facilities.”

Lee Valley White Water Centre Manager Simon Ricketts, added:

“We are delighted to receive these accolades. We have worked hard to ensure that our London 2012 venue is accessible for everyone to enjoy white water activities and we’re very pleased to have been recognised in this way.”