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Q&A - Architect John Rhodes talks the London GP

They can be delivered and taken away really quickly with minimal impact on the landscape. We took a similar approach with the Olympic equestrian events that will be held this summer in Greenwich Park, which is a World Heritage Site.

Is it possible to fit all the Formula One community into such a tight space by The Mall?

John Rhodes:
It's a very tight environment so you can't go with a traditional paddock building. Essentially the technical areas are within the garages themselves, very much like Monaco, and the hospitality suites are integrated as well. They nestle within the trees without touching them, so the trees become part of the architecture. The stainless steel canopies of the hospitality suites will create lots of reflections, lots of opportunities to look down the circuit. It engages with St James's Park – it'll be almost like a garden party.

How much influence did security and public transport have in your plans?

John Rhodes:
We're great believers in inserting events into cities. From a sustainability point of view, you're maximising the use of existing infrastructure. Central London is used to these sort of events, with things like the London Marathon, Royal Weddings, concerts in Hyde Park and the Diamond Jubilee. There are precedents and strategies associated with delivering large crowds to that area and this is one of the reasons why the London Grand Prix by Santander is viable and would add another major string to the city's bow as a blue-chip city venue for international sport. An event like this would have a localised impact on the traffic systems of London, particularly on the Embankment and in Trafalgar Square. But I don't think it's a problem. We have a number of major public transport hubs just a few minutes away on foot. Waterloo Station is very close, as are a great many tube stations. And of course we can use the river. It would be quite easy to make the area secure. It's a caged environment, so the spectators would be safe from debris, and the access points are manageable. With the Olympics coming up there's been a great focus on security and you could channel that expertise into an event such as this.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
`London Grand Prix by Santander`, starting grid on the Mall
`London Grand Prix by Santander`, the fly past Buckingham Palace
`London Grand Prix by Santander` exit at Hyde Park Corner
`London Grand Prix by Santander`, starting grid
`London Grand Prix by Santander` map
`London Grand Prix by Santander` map

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