Straight out of the big book of British brainwaves, this one: Midlands-based firm Acer Snowmec have “expressed an interest” in turning the Olympic media centre into a permanent indoor ski resort once the Games are over.
The question of what to do with the building — dubbed by one mischievous blog as the ugliest in the Olympic Park — has been vexing 2012 legacy chiefs for a while now. Tucked into an unfavourable corner of the Stratford site, and without an obvious post-Games purpose, there have been suggestions that the £330 million structure could be torn down. Which might explain why this wacky idea is being discussed.
Acer Snowmec have experience in the field: they operate plenty of indoor ski runs, including those in international destinations such as Dubai and, er, Milton Keynes. Their plan, which could cost £40 million, would create five indoor slopes, covering advanced runs, a cross-country course, and a superpipe. There would also be provisions for ice skating and curling.
Is the ski centre a viable proposal for the building? Or will we be chuckling about this idea in a few year, remembering it as one of the many capricious ideas for east London that never made the grade (see also: the Victoria Park urban beach, the Silvertown surf centre, the new Silicon Valley, and the cross-Thames cable car, which has just been put on what could be a permanent hiatus).
The Olympic Park Legacy Committee are currently soliciting expressions of interest from parties seeking to take over the centre, and a formal bidding process will begin next month.